There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Because of her advanced age and daily commitment to praying in the temple, Anna became someone who was respected. After so many years of praying, hoping, and waiting for her redeemer, God gave her the opportunity to see the Christ child face-to-face when Mary brought him to the temple. So even after so many years, hope and patience like that of Anna’s can be rewarded. In other words, we are never too old and it’s never too late to have something constructive to do in our relationship with God.
As modern day Catholics, in the busy lives we all lead, it’s both natural and typical to hope for a better job, a sleeker physique, a nicer car or place to live, and other “stuff.” But what about hoping for a better spiritual life with God? Hoping for a better relationship with Him? We don’t necessarily need to spend all day in church like Anna but, during the Christmas season, if you’ve felt your hopes dashed, maybe it’s time to take an approach like hers? Be patient, but be proactive too.
—John and Katie Nicolau are active members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Glenview IL, where they have lived for over 23 years. They have been married for 32 years and have 4 children, three of whom graduated from Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL, John’s alma mater. John also serves on the board of Charis, a Jesuit ministry for young adults.
Christ be our light, shine in our hearts, shine through the darkness.
Christ be our light, shine in your Church, gathered today.
—Bernadette Farrell, in Christ, Be Our Light, © OCP Publications, Inc., 1993.Please share the Good Word with your friends!