Candlemas

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It is a Feast of Light. It is a Feast that for many years was considered the real end of the Christmas celebrations. It is a Feast that was for many years thought of as a Feast of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. It is a Feast for old people.
The prophecy of Malachi tells us that suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Those who were waiting for the Lord and for a Savior could never have imagined that it was this baby coming into the temple that fulfills this prophecy. So often this is the way of our God: a surprise with complete love but a totally unexpected fulfillment of His word.
The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that Jesus had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way. This reflects again this tremendous mystery that God takes on our flesh, God becomes one of us, God the almighty becomes a child in the womb and is
born for us. Today that child is presented in the temple, like any normal child would have been. Jesus is truly human and truly
God. Jesus is human in every aspect of His life, just as we are, except that He does not sin.
The Gospel today is from Luke and tells the story of the presentation in the temple. This is where we meet the old people who have  stayed in the temple, waiting for a Messiah, waiting for the Lord to send salvation for His people. It is a lesson for us because these old  people have been praying and because of their spiritual gifts are able to recognize the Lord in this child.
Simeon knew from a prophecy that the Lord would come to the temple. Surely he was not expecting this 40 day old child! Yet Simeon is able to recognize in this child, the Savior of the world. This can encourage us to pray and to become old praying. The more we pray, the more we see in the spiritual world.
Anna is another model of old age. We are reminded to keep praying and to trust in the Lord.
God never abandons His people.
Salvation and Redemption are at work today in our lives and in our world, even when we seem blind to these realities. Not all recognized the Savior and Redeemer in the child Jesus. Not all can see the work of God today.
Let us rejoice in the gift of faith.
Father Jesus