May the light of Christ lift you and guide you!
We are celebrating the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It used to be called the purification, which refers to Mary and Jesus because of the blood associated with the birth of the child rendering them impure for temple worship. The offering of two doves (because of their economic and social standing) and dedicating the first born to the Lord fulfills the requirement of the Mosaic Law. Fulfillment is a strong theme in the readings: Malachi’s prophecy and the dedicated waiting of Simeon and Ana, who were daily watching and waiting for the one who would redeem Israel.
I try to think of what it must have been like for them to have a sense that one day they would see the Messiah. The daily routine, one day after the next and then suddenly—it happens!
The daily routine, the watching, the waiting, it can get old. We can lose interest, drift into boredom and then not be aware when the moment arrives.
It reminds me of what it is to have a vocation. It doesn’t matter which vocation you have, married, single, religious or ordained. There must be a daily routine and a daily alertness to the importance of your personal role and call to holiness in your vocation. The light and presence of Christ will not be noticed unless we watch for it with expectation like Simeon and Ana. In the Gospel, the Lord appeared to them as the helpless infant of a poor family. The Lord appeared to St. Francis as a poor, sick leper on the side of the road, frightened and alone. Mother Teresa found him abandoned, lying in the squalor and filth of the gutter along a street in Calcutta. The Lord appears to us in various ways everyday through the people we live with and encounter on the way. May the Holy Spirit keep us alert and inspire us to respond readily when it happens! +++ Fr. Peter