READINGS for 2008-02-02
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
DO YOU RECOgNiZE JESUS?
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace... for my eyes have seen your salvation...” – Luke 2:29-30
Once, I was having a private talk with my manager when he let it slip that he wasn’t pleased with me. I had brought up an officemate’s blunders in front of our boss when he had already dealt with the erring staff.
My initial reaction was to defend what I did. But before I could utter a word, a vision of Jesus filled my mind. And suddenly, it was no longer my manager who was talking to me but Jesus, who wanted nothing more than to perfect and correct me in the most lovingway possible.
My mental arguments died a silent death. I opened my mind and learned that I needed to forgive and to let go of my unreasonable demand for perfection. I felt so blessed that the Lord would choose to humble me this way, and it was all because I let the Holy Spirit guide me to see God’s presence in my all-too-human manager.
In our Gospel today, Simeon and Anna were two out of thousands who went to the temple who recognized the Messiah even though He was only a child.
How about you? Would you recognize Jesus when He is right in front of you? Cecil Lim
Let the Holy Spirit guide you and see God’s presence in each and every person around you.
Holy Spirit, open my eyes that I may see my Lord and Master in every person I meet.
The call to grow in holiness is meant for us all. The Feast of the Presentation is all about recognizing that new life is a gift from God and that we are grateful to have been entrusted with the responsibility of caring for the new child. This responsibility is not fulfilled until we set our children on the path to holiness – a holiness that comes from embracing God’s call upon their lives to be His disciples.
1 Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2 But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye. 3 He will sit refining and purifying [silver], and he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD. 4 Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in days of old, as in years gone by.
P S A L M
Psalm 24:7, 8, 9, 10
R: Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
7 Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in! (R) 8 Who is this king of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle. (R) 9 Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in! (R) 10 Who is this king of glory? The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory. (R)
The Letter to the Hebrews encourages us to be committed as we seek to understand God’s Word in our lives. His Word has the power to transform us in ways we can never understand. Let us surrender ourselves to the truth of His word by making time to read it regularly and to meditate upon its truths both day and night.
14 Since the children share in blood and flesh, he likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. 16 Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; 17 therefore, he had to become like his brothers in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
G O S P E L
Mary and Joseph are faithful Jews. Jesus is, too, as we will discover in His life and ministry as it unfolds in the Gospels. How faithful are we to following the teachings of the Church? Do we seek to live according to all that the Church teaches or do we pick and choose what is convenient to us? The Church teaches nothing lightly – it has well-reasoned arguments for what it teaches us about moral living.
22 When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” 24 and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 25 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. 26 It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. 27 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, 28 he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: 29 “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 34 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 35 (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” 36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer. 38 And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. 39 When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
think: Do we seek to live according to all that the Church teaches or do we pick and choose what is convenient to us?
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Acts 25-28
GETTING TO KNOW THE SAINTS
Saint Lucius, successor of the bishopric of Adrianople, played an important role in Council of Sardica in 347. The bishop, however, was driven from his see to Gaul in his opposition to Arianism. He was asked to return under the protection of Pope Saint Julius I. But the bishop refused to be in communion with the Arian bishops. As a result, he was arrested.
Saint Lucius died in prison in 350.
bleSSed Jordan of Saxony
Blessed Jordan, born during the thirteenth century in Saxony, Germany, was one of the most distinguished members of the early Dominicans (also known as the Order of Preachers). With his sharp tongue and keen mind, Jordan was a brilliant thinker and orator. Story even has it that mothers would hide their sons and universities would fear losing their best professors for they might be enticed in joining him because of his eloquence.
When St. Dominic died in 1222, Jordan of Saxony succeeded him despite his only two-year membership. The new friar proved himself both wise and understanding of human weaknesses.
In 1237, when Father Jordan and two other Dominicans were bound for the Holy Land, the three drowned in the coast of Syria. His remains when discovered were buried at Acre. At that time, a young Carmelite of Acre, troubled by his vocation commented, “This Friar Jordan was a good man and all he got for it was to be drowned!” Then in a vision, Blessed Jordan appeared to the man with the words, “Don’t fear, Brother. Everyone who serves Jesus Christ to the end will be saved.”
SaintS Cyril and MethodiuS
Saints Cyril (also known as Constantine) and Methodius belonged to an influential family from Thessalonica. The two brothers were of Greek origin and were considered devout Christians. Both were talented and educated. Cyril was a versatile scholar, gifted in secular learning and in Scripture study. He earned the title Philosopher. Methodius was a legal expert and an administrator, respected for his mastery in civil law and in his just decisions.
Since they lived with a group of Slavic-speaking peoples, Cyril and Methodius were well versed in Greek and Slavic languages. Because of this Emperor Michael III sent the two to Great Moravia in response to the people’s needs of Slavic-speaking teachers and missionaries.
They accepted the task. To help the unlettered Slavs, Cyril devised the Glagolithic alphabet, which their disciples later revised to the Cyrillic alphabet. Both brothers taught the Danubian people the Word of God and aided in the foundation of the Slavic culture. But because these people were not learned, Cyril and Methodius dealt with misunderstandings and misrepresentations, responding to charges and accusations of heresy and estrangement from Rome.
Cyril died on February 14, 869.
Methodius, on the other hand, returned to Great Moravia to take the role of archbishop. But he was arrested and imprisoned for three years because of the hostility of the Bavarian clergy. He was only freed when Pope John VIII sent a personal envoy to demand for his freedom. Methodius was then appointed archbishop in the pope’s office and papal representative to the Slavic lands before he died on April 6, 885.
God is Before us
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is my favorite sacrament. I love the way it makes people feel how real God is by experiencing His compassion and love after receiving His forgiveness. The reason is quite clear: We long for holiness and most of us feel holiest after confession.
It is the desire of any Christian to be holy. Unfortunately, it is something that most of us fail to realize. This is because the world has developed so many distractions, and we lose our focus on what is essential. We are easily swayed by the false pretenses of people who claim to really know a lot about life and living. Or simply because we stop trying to be holy, thinking holiness will remain a pie in the sky.
There was a young boy who was as naughty as naughty can be. He had already been transferred from one school to another to help him with formative interventions offered by the different schools but to no avail. Finally, his parents transferred him to a Catholic school. And miracle of miracles, the boy changed on day one. Asked why the sudden change in his attitude, the boy replied, “When I saw that man nailed on the cross on every wall of my new school I knew they really mean business. It was like being told always, ‘Behave or else…’” The presence of the crucified Christ changed the boy, although for a different reason. If God is always before us, would it spell a difference on how we do things? If we are attending to our own life concerns and recognize that God is before us, would it make us change our conduct and attitude? I am sure it would. Doing everything in the presence of God is how we become holy. By presenting ourselves before God and doing things like God is before us, our whole disposition on things will be shaped positively. It doesn’t matter if what we are doing are menial things or great things. What matters is how we do them—with a clear consciousness of God’s presence. Fr. Sandy Enhaynes
Do you live your life in the knowledge that you are constantly in the presence of God?
Jesus, ever-present Savior, grant me the grace to live a life that is pleasing to You. May my life be lived to glorify You.
St. Joan de Lestonnac, pray for us.
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