Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary 204. 6th day of Christmas. I John 2:12-17. Psalm
96:7-8,8-9, 10. Luke 2:36-40:
We all admire our grandparents and especially our grandmothers who seem to
know how to reach us even in the realm of the spiritual life. We often
learn much from their simple faith and untiring commitment to model for us
and our parents how one can pray and honor and praise God. Many of them
have a special devotion they cherish and pray quietly each day. We can
tell them many things about ourselves that we would not share with mom and
dad! Today's reading offers us a type of model for us that may help us to
appreciate our grandparents especially our grandmothers. Anna is the woman
who comes into the temple and may be 84 years of age, depending upon how we
read and interpret Luke's text, or she may even be older. Hesychius whom
heard of yesterday linked Psalm 84 in his homily for the meeting of Simeon
and Ann. We can follow him since he is much closer to the time of Jesus
than we are and actually lived in Jerusalem.
It is Anna who closes the earliest days of Jesus the baby presented in the
Temple. The next scene will be when he is twelve years old again in the
temple and Anna is no longer mentioned. It is a wonderful tribute to her
that Luke mentions her name and tells us about her religious behavior:
"Anna was constantly in the Temple, worshipping day and night in fasting
and in prayer. She is giving thanks to God and talking about the child
(Jesus) to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem." (Luke
Luke is moving quickly through these early scenes and tells us that Jesus
returns with his parents to Nazareth in Galilee where he continues to grow
in wisdom and the grace of God. "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 favor of the Lord was upon him." (Luke 2:39-40).
Isn't it true that we need the life experiences in wisdom and grace like
our grandmothers and grandfathers have? Elderly people seem to have lived
through much of what we will come to know. In reflecting on these good
persons they can often serve us as well as the canonized saints. Many of
the latter lived very short lives, whereas, our grandparents usually have
weathered longer storms in life and are practical models for us in the life
of faith without being out of reach. They are real and alive with us and we
do well to learn much from them in the areas of faith and devotion to God.
We take time on this sixth day of Christmas to bless the Annas and Simeons
in our life. Amen.
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