Keeping God's word in my life is the way that I allow God's love to be perfected in me. This is surely a good thought to use for some quiet time reflection during the days of the Christmas season. It is during this time that I have the opportunity to be close to Jesus: from Christmas Day until Pentecost. If I walk just as he walk during his lifetime, I am living my life in that union with him. This does raise a question for me: My actions -- are they congruent with what I claim by my words and practices.
Today we are one day short of the halfway mark of the Christmas season. I was surprised to hear in a dinner conversation just a couple of days ago that one family had already dismantled the Christmas tree and packed up all the Christmas decorations including the manger scene figures. What a loss of the graces the 12 days of Christmas provide us.
The scripture readings and various feasts within the twelve days of Christmas are, if we seriously wish to understand what it is that God is asking of us, me in particular, in the months and days that lie ahead. Each of these twelve days is offering a golden opportunity to recognize what it is in my life that is a genuine hindrance to my living in the light that Jesus' birth brings to darkness that may have power over my words and actions.
The beginning of another calendar year, the 2013th since Jesus was born, in which humankind will continue to allow darkness to be so strong comes upon us in just a few days. The days of Christmas are for each of us the opportunity to open our own eyes to the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. Let us do just that: let us open our hearts to the experience of the Presentation described in today's gospel reading. Let Mary and Joseph present to me the Child Jesus as God's gift. Let God bring me the same peace and joy Simeon experienced in the temple when Mary placed her Son in his hands.