February 2, 2014

Presentation

February 2, 2014:  Presentation of the Lord

Readings

Wordle: Readings 2-2-14
  • Mal 3:1-4  The Lord will come to the temple, but who will endure that day?  He, like the refiner’s fire, will purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer sacrifice pleasing to God.
  • Ps 24:7-10  "Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!"  Open up that the king of glory may enter!
  • Heb 2:14-18  Jesus shared in our flesh to free those subject to slavery.  He had to become like us to expiate sin.  Because he was tested through suffering, he can help those being tested.
    Turtle doves (gospel)
  • Lk 2:22-40  Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to God.  Simeon prayed:  “Master, you may let me go in peace; I've seen your salvation, a light to the Gentiles and glory for Israel.” To Mary: “This child will be a sign to be contradicted, and a sword will pierce you.”  Prophetess Anna thanked God and spoke about the child.  Jesus grew and became strong and wise, and God's favor was on him.





Pope Francis
  • Homily for today, World Day for Consecrated Life:  The Feast of the Presentation is also the Feast of the Encounter.  When the newlyweds brought Jesus to the Temple, it was the first encounter between Jesus and his people.  Also, the New Testament (Jesus), encountered the Old Testament (Simeon and Anna).  It's also an encounter between the young (Holy Family) and the old (Simeon and Anna), all full of joy.  It's also an encounter between observance (the young) and prophecy (the elderly).  Mary and Joseph wanted to do what the Law prescribed; they had the joy of walking according to the law.  The elderly were full of life, animated by and obedient to the Spirit.  Jesus is at the center of this encounter between the Holy Family and representatives of the people of God.
Consecrated life is an encounter with Christ:  he comes to us, and we go towards Him guided by the Spirit.  He's at the center, moving everything, drawing us to the Church, where we meet, recognize, and embrace Him.  It's also an encounter between the young and the old, between observation and prophecy.  When we let the Spirit animate us, there's the joy of being Spirit-led, open to God's voice, of walking within a rule of life.  It's good for the elderly to share their wisdom with the young and for the young to carry it forward.
        Realities are more important than ideas:  There’s a tension between ideas and realities.  It’s dangerous to dwell in of words and images.  Don't mask reality via angelic forms of purity, relativism, empty rhetoric, objectives more ideal than real, ahistorical fundamentalism, ethical systems bereft of kindness, or discourse bereft of wisdom.  Ideas serve communication, understanding, and praxis; disconnected ideas don’t call to action, but reason-illuminated realities do. Without harmonious objectivity, truth is manipulated.  Leaders wonder why people don’t understand or follow their proposals; maybe they’re reducing politics or faith to rhetoric.

        Reality is essential to evangelization; remember those who inculturated the Gospel and reap the fruits of the Church’s tradition without trying to come up with a detached system of thought.  Put the word into practice, perform works of justice and charity that make it fruitful.  Not to do so is to build on sand, to remain in the realm of ideas and end up in lifeless self-centeredness and gnosticism.  (4.III, 231-33, pp. 175-76)
        Reflections
          • Creighton:  This used to end the Christmas season; the gospel is the climax of Luke’s Christmas story starting with elderly Zechariah and Elizabeth and ending with elderly Simeon and Anna—regarding miraculous pregnancies.  In the middle are Mary’s Magnificat, Zechariah's Benedictus, the angels' Gloria, and Simeon's Nunc Dimittis.  Both infancy stories are mini-gospels:  some accept God's salvation and worship; others oppose and try to destroy it—the same as in Jesus’ earthly ministry.  When we proclaim God’s salvation, we challenge and call to decision and may meet with both responses.  God triumphs.
          • RC.net:   Simeon, who recognized in Jesus the fulfillment of Messianic prophecies, blessed Mary and Joseph and prophesied to Mary about the child and what she'd suffer.  Mary's blessedness would pierce her at the cross; the joy she received helped her bear the sorrow.  Anna hoped God would fulfill his promise and send a redeemer; her hope grew with age and fueled her prayer and service.
          Music
          Guest dresser (thanks, Sandie):
          Christ, light to the nations (gospel)
          *: sung at St. Bede 5:30pm Mass


          Apparel, plus see the "guest dresser" shot



          • Clock tie bar:  who shall endure the day of his coming? (1st reading)
          • "Christmas lights" tie:  Christ is a light to the nations (gospel); Christmas season used to extend through today
          • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time (season)


          Dress your life!

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