December 30, 2017

Dec. 30

December 30, 2017:  6th day, Christmas Octave

  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Say, The Lord is king (psalm)
  • 'Children' pin:  I write to you, children, because you know the Father. (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  All in the world... enticement for the eyes... is not from the Father. (1st reading)
  • 'Owl' pin:  Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom (gospel)
  • 'Mele Kalikimaka' shirt, NoëL pin:  Christmas season
  • 1 Jn 2:12-17  Children, your sins have been forgiven.  Fathers, you know Him.  Young men, God's word is in you, and you've conquered the Evil One.  Children, you know the Father.  If you love the world, the Father's love isn't in you; all in the world is not from the Father.  The world is passing away, but if you do God's will, you'll remain.
    Not this Anna
  • Ps 96:7-10  "Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!"  Praise and worship the Lord; God is king and governs with equity.
  • Lk 2:36-40  Prophetess Anna, 84, worshiped night and day.  She thanked God and spoke about the child.  Joseph, Mary, and Jesus returned to Nazareth; Jesus grew and became strong, filled with wisdom and God's favor.

  • Creighton:  In the 1st reading, fathers are asked to keep their commitments, young men are asked to stay strong and enthusiastic, and children are embraced for their faith.
When Mary and Joseph present Baby Jesus in the temple, Simeon prophesies the significance of his life, and patient Anna confirms the prophesy.  Married seven years until her husband's premature death, she waited decades for God, then found him in this baby.  Others had no clue, but she understood he'd fulfill ancient promises.  Lord, help us awaken, make our souls permeable to your light and presence, and help us learn from the witness of your prophets....
    Anna in the Temple/ Bacik
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Anna didn't miss her day":  After decades of coming to the Temple daily, how easy would it have been for Anna not to have been alert the one day the Messiah showed up.  Without the advance notice Simeon had, she had to be alert every day, like the wise virgins who kept their lamps filled to be ready for the master.  May we be like Anna, listening daily to the Lord in faith.
  • Passionist:  The Christmas message is as fresh now as it ever was:  God loved us so much that he sent us his Son.  Let's keep the Christmas spirit alive all year by bringing Jesus to others with our words and actions:  words of affection, positive, encouraging words, "I'm sorry," "I forgive you," "Welcome"; smiling, giving food, giving time, listening, comforting the bereaved, working for peace, and helping the brokenhearted....  “Christmas is... a state of mind.  To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.  If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending hope to the world” (Coolidge).
  •  "Anna recognized Christ's coming and thanked God":  Those who trust God won't be disappointed.  God has placed in his people a longing and hope for a Redeemer to bring us peace, joy, and justice.  God's plan of redemption unfolds in Jesus' Incarnation and birth before all ages, who became flesh to redeem us.  Luke records Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the Temple 40 days after his birth for the Jewish ceremony for the "redemption of the firstborn" and ritual purification of the mother.  Anna, Spirit-filled prophet of 84, immediately recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah and heir to David's throne, thanked God, and spoke of him.  She dedicated her life to serving God through prayer and fasting.  Like Simeon and the Old Testament prophets, she was attentive to God and spoke under the Spirit's inspiration of God's saving plan.  Despite the loss of her husband and the trials of advancing age, she persevered in worship and trust.
Anna is a model of faith and hope to us all.  When we meet trials and setbacks, we can get discouraged, grow cynical, or despair, but disappointments can press us closer to God.  May we trust God and receive his grace, strength, hope, love, and joy.  God gives us hope for a home and happiness in his kingdom of justice, peace, and joy.  The Holy Spirit renews and strengthens our hope and enables us to persevere in the face of any challenge we face.  Lord, flood my heart with your peace, joy, and love; help me offer everything to you.  Give me all I need to love and serve you unreservedly....

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