Gospel: Lk 2:36-40
There was also a prophetess named Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. After leaving her father‘s home, she had been seven years with her husband; and since then, she had been continually about the temple, serving God, as a widow, night and day, in fasting and prayer. She was now eighty-four. Coming up at that time, she gave praise to God, and spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When the parents had fulfilled all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their town, Nazareth in Galilee. There, the child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom: the grace of God was upon him.
The call to holiness is not only for old people but for everybody, young and old alike. Children are called to be holy just as their parents are.
Prophetess Anna serves as the model for old people to live holy lives. She had been continually about the temple, serving God, as a widow, night and day, in fasting and prayer. The child Jesus also serves as the model for children to follow. Like Jesus, children should also grow not only in stature and strength but in wisdom and in grace of God.
St. John, in the first reading, warns us about a big obstacle to holiness. He warns us not to love the word, or what is in it. For everything in the world-the craving of the flesh, the greed of eyes and people boasting of their superiority-all this belongs to the world, not the Father. For him, to be holy means to do the will of the Father and remain in Him.
Let us be holy by doing the will of God and by remaining in Him through prayers and through service.