Thursday, February 2, 2017

Reflection: Luke 2:22-40

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord - Luke 2:22-40

Today Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem to present Jesus in the Temple. It was customary and the law 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 this sacred rite of purification.

A man named Simeon was in the temple the day that Mary, Joseph and Jesus arrived. For many years Simeon had spent much 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 he had been waiting for! Simeon immediately went to them and took the baby, Jesus, into His arms. Simeon loudly praised God and gave thanks that he was blessed to see and hold “the Christ of the Lord” in his arms before he died. Simeon also 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 also 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 this prophecy? Did they believe what Anna and Simeon were saying? Or were they skeptical and non-believers?

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 of happenings that would occur in the near future. And most often, we wait and wait. And typically, they do not occur. 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 it were our last day? How would you spend your day? Who would you spend your time with if today were the last day? Would you go to church? Or spend some time with God in another way?

Today could be our last day. May we live this day fully and with thanksgiving and awareness!

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