Gospel: Lk 2:22-40
When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the baby up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God. And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
There lived in Jerusalem, at this time, a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel; and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord. So, he was led into the temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law.
Simeon took the child in his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for you have fulfilled your word and my eyes have seen your salvation, which you display for all the people to see.
Here is the light you will reveal to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.“
His father and mother wondered at what was said about the child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Know this: your son is a sign; a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.“
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.
Read: Despite the heavy odds stacked against him, Abram trusted God‘s promises and found peace. Such trust won him God‘s blessings and made him the father of faith. It is such faith that enabled Simeon and Anna to recognize the holy family and the promised Messiah within it.
Reflect: The Holy Family does not seem to be, for untrained eyes, a peaceful family. Ever since the conception of the child, the family has been into all sorts of problems. And now Simeon prophesies that the child is billed to be a sign of contradiction and the mother will have her heart pierced in sorrow. But the heart of the matter is: this is a family that consists of three persons who embrace the will of God–doing God‘s Will is their sole mission. It is such God-centeredness that made the family holy and full of grace.
Pray: Pray for broken families, divorced couples, and orphaned children.
Act: Feed a poor family today.