Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reflection: Luke 2:22-25

Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas - Luke 2:22-25

It was a custom in the time of Jesus that when a male child was born, the parents would take the baby to Jerusalem and “present” their child to the Lord.  This was a custom required by the Law of Moses.  In the law it was written: “Every firstborn male child shall be consecrated to the Lord.”  Naturally Mary and Joseph, being faithful Jews, did as the law required.  They made the trip to Jerusalem even though it was a long and difficult journey.  

Mary and Joseph entered the temple with the baby Jesus and their sacrifice offering – a pair of turtledoves.  At that time, there was a man named Simeon who daily went to the Temple.  He was a just and pious man and he was awaiting the “consolation of Israel.” Luke writes: “The Holy Spirit was upon Him”.   On this day, Simeon was inspired by the Spirit.   When Mary and Joseph entered the temple with Jesus, Simeon took the baby into his arms.  He then looked at the child, blessed Jesus and said: “Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace; you have fulfilled your word.”

Mary and Joseph marveled at the words that were being spoken about their newborn child.  Then Simeon looked intently Mary and said: ”This child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many.”  After a moment, Simeon added: “You yourself shall be pierced with a sword – so that the thoughts of many hearts will be laid bare.”  I wonder what Mary thought of his remarks?  Here she was with her newborn son and unsettling words were being spoken to her by this holy man. Her son was just an infant and a great gift to Mary and Joseph, yet the holy man’s words were unsettling and frightening. Yet she continued to trust in God’s word.  

How do you respond to Jesus’ presence in your life?  The reality is that Jesus is with us every moment!  He walks with us; He graces and guides us.  Today be mindful of the reality that Jesus, our Lord, is always by our sides!  May we cherish and appreciate this wondrous gift!

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