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Daily Prayer - 2014-12-28

Presence

I pause for a moment and think of the love
and the grace that God showers on me:
I am created in the image and likeness of God;
I am God's dwelling-place.

Freedom

Guide me always to do your holy will
knowing that your strength will
carry me through.

Consciousness

Lord, grant that I may always desire
to spend time in your presence.
May I not forget your goodness to me.
Guide me to share your blessings with others.

The Word of God

Luke 2:22-40

Unpublished

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
 according to your word;
 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
 and for glory to your people Israel.’

And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had finished everything required by 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 favour of God was upon him.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Simeon “took him in his arms”. In the original biblical language this expression described what the priests of the Old Law did as they accepted the gifts offered by the faithful for use in the temple sacrifices. Then it was Anna’s turn. She praised God and spoke about the role the child would play in the redemption of us all. Simeon and Anna, because they were people of intense and ongoing prayer, always found themselves in the right place at the right time. Like them, each one of us, is called to cooperate in the divine plan of salvation. We are told that Joseph and Mary were amazed at what was being said about him. Mary first learns from Simeon that one day a “sword of sorrow will pierce her soul”.
  • Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple. In the past, it was also known as the Purification of Our Lady. It was further referred to as Candlemas Day because Simeon saw in Jesus a great Light. Let us unite ourselves in spirit with Jesus, Mary and Joseph and like them, prepare ourselves for whatever the Lord plans for us.

Conversation

Jesus, You are always there waiting for me.
Sometimes I get bogged down
with the concerns of this life.
Grant that I may be still more often.
To know Your peace, Your calm.

Conclusion

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.

Amen

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