By Fr. Aubuchon
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This weekend we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, which is celebrated 40 days after Christmas. In the Gospel of St. Luke, we hear the story of Simeon and Anna; the Gospel tells us that both Simeon and Anna went to the Temple every day because both of them believed that one day, they would see the Messiah there. The Gospel says that they are both older, and therefore awaiting to meet the Messiah is something that Simeon and Anna would have done for a long time, being filled with great hope and anticipation.
The Gospel then tells us the Good News that they are both rewarded for their faith and their perseverance, by the fact that they do get to see Jesus on the day that He is presented to God in the Temple by Mary and St. Joseph. It is very comforting to know that God fulfilled His promises to Simeon and Anna. If we take into account the many days, trips, and time they spent at the Temple, they then are rewarded for their perseverance in getting to see the Messiah in the flesh, He who will save them and us all from our sins. It must have been quite an experience for both of them; Simeon even says, “Lord, now I can go in peace, for my eyes have seen the salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of every people.”
This Feast Day and this story is to challenge us to think and ask the question, “how much is God a part of my life every single day?” We don’t all have to come to the Temple every day, like Simeon and Anna did, and yet shouldn’t there be some acknowledgment of God every day in our lives? God has also made promises to us, and we have made promises to Him. How can we remember those promises if we go on day after day without even thinking about God or spending quality time with Him in prayer? This is why we need to find some time for God every day in our lives; it’s all about a relationship with He who first loved us, and God wants us in communion with Him at all times. What if Simeon and Anna had decided not to go to the Temple that day when Mary and St. Joseph brought the child Jesus to the Temple? They would have missed out! Are we missing out on a lot of great graces and gifts, all because we are not making time for God?
There is this great book called Time for God by Father Jacques Philippe that I think you will find helpful and a good spiritual reading companion as you take a look at your relationship with God. This book will help you to ask the question, “Am I making room for God in my daily life or is He more on the back-burner?” There is a great joy in knowing that God desires to spend time with us, His beloved sons and daughters, and that we have examples like Simeon and Anna in the Gospel today who show us the importance of that relationship with God and perseverance in prayer.
Sometimes our prayer life and our relationship with God cannot wait and cannot be put on the back burner; God wants to spend time with you right now, and it’s never too late to start growing in that relationship with Him. We are called to make God more and more a part of our daily lives. What do we have to do in our lives to make that happen?
As you know, not taking care of our physical health or hygiene can eventually get us into trouble one way or another; so too, not letting God into our life every day can hurt us. We can miss out on so many good things; don’t let that happen to you. Let God fulfill His promises to you every day though His love as shown to Simeon and Anna on this feast of The Presentation of the Lord.