Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Reflection: Luke 2:22-40
The Presentation of the Lord, Feast – Luke 2:22-40
Today Mary and Joseph travel to Jerusalem to present Jesus in the Temple. It was customary that within 40 days after the birth of the firstborn son, the parents were to take the child to the Temple in Jerusalem and present him to the Lord. As soon as Mary was able to travel, she and Joseph set out for Jerusalem as the law required. It was a long journey for them, yet they wanted their newborn son to receive the sacred rite of purification.
A man named Simeon was in the temple the day Mary, Joseph, and Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. For many years Simeon had spent most of his time in the Temple waiting for the “consolation of Israel.” When Simeon saw Mary, Joseph and the baby, he recognized Jesus as the One for whom he had been waiting.
Simeon immediately went to Mary and Joseph and took the baby, Jesus, into His arms. Then Simeon loudly praised God and gave thanks that he was blessed to see and hold in his arms, “the Christ of the Lord” before he died! Simeon then prophesied that this tiny baby was destined for greatness.
On that day, Anna, the prophetess, also was in the temple. When Anna saw Mary, Joseph and Jesus she came to them and prophesied that this tiny baby would bring about the redemption of Jerusalem. I wonder how the people in the Temple reacted to these prophecies. Did they believe what Anna and Simeon were saying or were they skeptical and close-minded?
Imagine yourself in this scene. How would you react to these happenings? Would you be a believer or would you be a skeptic? At various time in our history, we all have heard “prophecies” that were to occur in the near future. Most often, we wait and wait, and the prophecy is never fulfilled. However, the time will come when the prophecy will be fulfilled.
How would life be different for us if we lived each day as if this day were to be our last day? How would you spend your day if you knew that today were your last day on earth? With whom would you spend your time? Would you go to church or would you find another way to spend time with God?
Today may be our last day; we do not know when we will die. May we live this day and every day to the fullest. May we be thankful for the many blessings we have received!