Saturday, February 1, 2014

And So The Christmas Season Concludes

Dear Friends,

To fully understand the title of this communication to you,  if you have about five minutes, read St. Luke's gospel chapter 1:5 through to Chapter 2:39.   The events and words in this part of  Luke's gospel make up what theologians and scripture scholars call The Infancy Narratives.  These few verses are packed with so many events we hear about in the Christmas season.  Read all at once, these events invite us to see the whole story and to realize what God is doing for us even today.

So, Mary and Joseph drop the curtain on the Christmas story by bringing their new born son to the temple according to Jewish law.  And once again the Christmas message is proclaimed by the elder man at the temple:  here is the true light of the world for all nations and forever!
31which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”k
For me, reading through the above mentioned verses, there was a renewed sense of the power of God's plans for all of us.  Luke, responding to the inspirational gift of the Holy Spirit, tells us how we  came to be Christians.  This story is the foundational beginning of God's Church.

I am captured by the bookends to the story:  senior citizens --Elizabeth and Zechariah then Simeon and the prophetess Anna-- begin and conclude the story of the coming to us of the Son of God.

Before 1969 this feast day of the Presentation was known as the Purification of Mary.  It was always a day marked by processions -- people bringing to the church candles for use in their homes as well as candles to be used in the liturgies at the altar.  In a way it is a fitting way to conclude the Christmas season:  Jesus is brought to the temple for the first time.  The "Light of the world" is presented to the world in the words of Simeon and Anna and our Church blesses candles that may remind us in each liturgical celebration at the altar that we are in the presence of the true Light of the World.

May Jesus be the light in your life!  May the candles you see lighted at the altar remind you of the presence  of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

God be with you!  Oremus pro invicem! (Let us pray for one another!

Fr. Milt