February 2, 2016
Lk 2: 22-40
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 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
Grace and Dust
As I sat in prayer, a sun ray shone through the window. My eyes closed; I only felt its warmth. As soon as my eyes opened, I saw something incredible – dust! Okay, that doesn’t sound amazing, but I was in awe. There was a multitude of tiny, floating particles flying and hovering over me. My first thought: “It’s dusty in here.” My second thought: “Only through this sun ray, can I perceive something that is always present – right in front of my face; too small to perceive without sunlight’s aid. God said: “Grace is like dust – only my light can allow you to be grateful for those people and moments that have always been my love right in front of your face.
Simon recognized the Messiah because he was present to his task. Every moment of life can be a Present-ation; for the only moment to begin loving and seeing God is in the present, even in dust.
—Michael Martinez, S.J., a Jesuit scholastic of the Antilles province, is studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
Lord, on the Feast of the Presentation, grant me the grace to ponder the inner meaning of the phrase below…allow its inner truth to germinate and grow. Do not force it open with your mind. That would only kill the seed. Sow it where the soil is rich. Sow it in your heart. And give it time:
“Say good-bye to golden yesterdays—or your heart will never learn to love the present.”
—Anthony De Mello, SJ, in Seedlings
Please share the Good Word with your friends!