FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
FEBRUARY 2, 2023
Fourth THURSDAY of Ordinary Time
PRESENTATION OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE
WORD of the DAY
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.” (Luke 2: 22-40)
“How shall I live this Word?
Simeon’s wait does not simply tell us the story of this man, but it describes the elements that underlie every human being. In fact, ours is a waiting structure. We almost always describe ourselves in relation to our expectations, almost to the point of identifying ourselves with them. And even if we don’t fully realize it, the true essence of all our expectations is always Christ. In fact, He is the ultimate fulfillment of the desire for truth that we keep in our hearts. The task that we should all try to give ourselves, then, is to follow Christ by enlivening all our expectations in Him. A life without expectations is always a suffering life, a deadly life full of meaningless burdens. In today’s Gospel, the theme of the Light that dispels the darkness of the people, freeing them from the tyranny of chaos and fear, clearly emerges. Jesus Himself has the task of turning on lights in the countless nights of our time. Because only when we make room for the light and illuminate our evils, our sins, the things that intimidate us and in which we falter, are we authorized to eradicate them from our lives. Today is the feast of the “light on” and we must find the courage to stop, to give a name to everything that opposes our joy, to everything that prevents us from flying high: imperfect relationships, deviated practices, deep-rooted fears, structured doubts, unexpressed needs. Today we don’t have to fear the light, because only after this tiring work of enlightenment can a “vitality” reappear within our existence which is an indication of a profound liberation.
Almighty and eternal God, look upon your faithful gathered on the feast of the Presentation in the temple of your only Son made man, and grant us also to be presented to You purified in spirit.
The Voice of St. Francis of Assisi
Where there is hate, let me bring love. Where there is offense, may I bring forgiveness. Where there is discord, let me bring unity. Where there is doubt, let me bring faith. Where there is error, let me bring the truth. Where there is despair, may I bring hope. Where there is sadness, may I bring joy. Where is darkness, may I bring light.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Fr. Maurizio Lollobrigida, SDB