Father, grant me the grace to remain calm and serene in the midst of turmoil in my own life so that I can reflect at least a little of Jesus' peace. I ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.
-from Stories of Jesus
"Without a doubt, obedience is more meritorious than any other penance. And what greater penance can there be than keeping one's will continually submissive and obedient?" — St. Catherine of Bologna
✞MEDITATION OF THE DAY✞
"Do not think, [Jesus] says, that you are destined for easy struggles or unimportant tasks. You are the salt of the earth. What do these words imply? Did the disciples restore what had already turned rotten? Not at all. Salt cannot help what is already corrupted. That is not what they did. But what had first been renewed and freed from corruption and then turned over to them, they salted and preserved in the newness the Lord had bestowed. It took the power of Christ to free men from the corruption caused by sin; it was the task of the apostles through strenuous labor to keep that corruption from returning." — Homily by Saint John Chrysostom, p. 120 AN EXCERPT FROM Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. IV
click to read more
Presentation Of The Lord
February 2. Being an observant Jewish couple, it stands to reason that Mary and Joseph went to the Temple for the purification of the Lord, as prescribed by Mosaic Law, 40 days after Jesus' birth. The blessing of candles and the procession of light were added to this feast, giving it the name "Candlemas." Saint of the Day
Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; And suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek, And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner's fire, or like the fuller's lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, Refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in the days of old, as in years gone by.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:7, 8, 9, 10
R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in! R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Who is this king of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle. R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in! R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Who is this king of glory? The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory. R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Reading 2 Heb 2:14-18
Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Alleluia Lk 2:32
R. Alleluia, alleluia. A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
"Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."
The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted —and you yourself a sword will pierce— so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of 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.
And suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek. (Malachi 3:1)
You're resting at home one evening, enjoying the quiet after a long day at work. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. But you weren't expecting anyone. You open the door cautiously, only to find dear friends who had moved far away. Overjoyed, you embrace them and welcome them in.
Isn't this like Malachi's prophecy of the Lord coming suddenly in the Temple? Doesn't it also sound like the way Jesus fulfilled this prophecy when Mary and Joseph brought him to the Temple for his presentation? It's a good thing that a couple of prayerful elderly people were alert enough to welcome him!
God loves to break in on our everyday lives, and he wants us to be just as prepared as Simeon and Anna were. So let's follow their example. They were in the right place, at the right time, and they had the right disposition.
So what's the right place? Simeon and Anna spent most of their days in the Temple, where God had promised to be present. For us, we know that God comes to us in the Mass and as we pray and read the Scriptures. But we all have obligations and lives outside of our prayer times. So it's good news that he also comes to us in the temple of our hearts. It's here, in this interior temple, that we can look for him. We can get into the habit of stepping away from our everyday demands from time to time each day and see if he is there.
What's the right time? Now—any time! You never know when God has a message for you or wants to nudge you, whether away from a temptation or toward some act of service. Make sure you're ready when he speaks.
As for the right disposition, this is the most important. This involves staying alert and flexible, just as Simeon and Anna were. Don't be too tied to your routine. Be ready to change your plans if a weary spouse needs extra time or an opportunity to share your faith pops up.
Remember, the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to you today. So be ready!
"Holy Spirit, help me to recognize you as you break into my life today."
Psalm 24:7-10 Hebrews 2:14-18 Luke 2:22-40
"Thus says the Lord God:Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; And suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek..." The Lord sends the Holy Spirit to prepare a place for Him....in your heart, your temple. And if you truly seek Him, He will come. Because the Lord used to dwell in a temple built by humans, but now He comes to dwell in humans. That is why the Lord says to those who knock, the door will be opened.
We pray "Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in!" Let Him in! The King of Glory, of all power and majesty, who am I that He should take notice of me? I, then...am His child. For many wonder the world like an orphan looking for their biological parents, there are many souls the like wondering where God our Father is. Many wonder, but many seek. There is a major difference in wondering and actually seeking....actually desiring.
And among those in great desire are those devoutly held to the Holy Spirit, like Simeon in the temple. He knew he would not die until having seen the Messiah. When Saint Joseph and the Blessed Virgin Mary walk in with the baby Jesus, Simeon's heart knew immediately who it was, because the Holy Spirit guided him, just like the 3 wise men, kings from the east. There is a guiding light. It is the Lord that tugs, like a lover gently holding your hand, saying "this way" and you go, it is like this with the Lord. And having been pulled to Him, you too will go in peace and say like Simeon "... for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles"and the Gentiles needed the light like today many non-believers and wonderers need to see Jesus. And this is how they will see Him...by your love. By your love of God. By your obedience to God. By the way you care. By the way you suffer. By the way you suffer to care and by the way you care to suffer. I say this as a private revelation in my own accident. I knew people cared when they came to visit me. I knew then...Jesus cared. I knew people loved Jesus, when those people brought me Jesus in Holy Communion. I am touched by the love of God because He is inside the temple...of the body