Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Reflection: Luke 2:22-35

Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas – Luke 2:22-35

In this Gospel, Mary and Joseph take Jesus to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.  It was written in the “law of the Lord” that every firstborn son was to be consecrated to the Lord.  Part of the consecration ritual was to sacrifice a pair to turtledoves or two young pigeons when a child was presented in the temple.  

In Jerusalem, there was a man named Simeon.  He was a holy man, a righteous man.  Simeon had received a revelation from the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Christ of the Lord.  On the day when Joseph and Mary came to the Temple with their newborn son, Simeon saw them.  He immediately went to them and took Jesus in his arms.  Then he blessed God, saying: “Lord, now let your servant go in peace.  Your prophecy has been fulfilled”.  

Then Simeon turned to Mary and Joseph and also blessed them.  He prophesied to Mary that Jesus was destined to do great deeds.  He added that “a sword would pierce her heart so that the thoughts of many would be revealed.” I wonder how Mary and Joseph reacted to Simeon’s words.  Were they shocked?  Frightened?  Awestruck?  Did they wonder who and what their child would be?  Did they wonder why they had been chosen to be the parents of this baby?  

Nothing had been “normal” in their lives since the angel had appeared to Mary.  It all must have been surreal for Mary and Joseph.  And yet, they continued to trust in God.  They believed that the God who had brought them this far would continue to grace and strengthen them in the months and years ahead.  

At times in our lives, we also experience situations and circumstances that stretch us far more than we would like.  Take a moment and remember those times in your life.  It may have been an illness, a conflict within the family, financial difficulties, or the loss of a job.  These times are painful and the challenges that follow often create a great deal of anxiety.  We do not know what lies ahead of us, nor do we know how the situation will be resolved.  At these times, we can turn to Mary and Joseph.  They will understand.  Ask them to pray for you.  Ask them to intercede to God for you.  Mary and Joseph will not fail you!  They will companion you on your journey.

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