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 world and its riches are the images of God in all creation. In the first reading, John does not speak of this world, but of a world that seeks only the pleasures that the carnal world can bring us, conveniently ignoring not only its purpose but also the source of creation, the Creator Himself.
That is why we the baptized are asked to recognize in this mystery of the Incarnation, the same creation willed by God, and to recognize in this mystery the divine salvific project, and to learn in this child to live our life, according to the divine will, fulfilling the purpose of our life; to praise God and be united (configure) ourselves in God.
We must recognize that we are these Annas, called to identify the divine presence in this world, and to bring this world to this God who loves us, so that the world too may discover this God and be able to praise Him.
Action of the day : Identify the presence of God in your daily events.
«She gave praise to God and spoke of the child to all»
Fr. Joaquim FLURIACH i Domínguez
(St. Esteve de P., Barcelona, Spain)
Today, Joseph and Mary have just celebrated the presentation rites of their first-born, Jesus, at the Temple in Jerusalem. Mary and Joseph observe what the law says, because doing what God wants is a sign of faithfulness and love for God.
Since their Son —and God's Son— was born, Joseph and Mary have experienced surprise after surprise: the shepherds, the three wise men, angels... Not only external extraordinary events, but also interior ones, in the heart of people who have had some sort of contact with the Child.
Today Anne turns up. She is an elderly widow, who at a given moment decided to devote all her life to the Lord, with fasts and prayer. We are not making a mistake when we say that this woman was one of the “prudent virgins” of our Lord Jesus Christ's parable (cf. Mt 25:1-13): always faithfully watching over what seems to be God's will for her. And of course: when the moment comes, the Lord finds Her ready. The Boy fully rewards her for all the time she has dedicated to the Lord. Ask her; ask Anna if so much prayer, fast and generosity was worthwhile!
The text reads that «she gave praise to God and spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem» (Lk 2:38). Joy turns into determined apostleship: it is cause and effect. The Lord is infinitely generous with those who are generous with him.
Jesus, God incarnate, lives a family life in Nazareth, like in all families: growing, working, learning, asking, playing... «Holy and daily routine», where the souls of men grow stronger almost without realizing of it. How important the little things of every day are!