|The Presentation by Rembrandt|
Happy Candlemas Day! Happy Feast of the Presentation of the Lord! Happy Feast of the Meeting of Jesus, Simeon and Anna! Happy Feast of the Purification of Mary! Happy Feast of Simeon the Old Man!
Believe it or not, those are all proper names of the feast that we celebrate today. They apply to different places and different times but all speak to the same exact event, just from a different angle. As this notable feast neared, I was trying to think of what I could write about and I had more ideas come to mind that I have proper names listed above. At first I was a bit frustrated but as I sat with this list of names I began to see the beauty and depth of the faith and the scriptures, that each name approaches from a different angle and shows for a different element of the life of faith.
As we contemplate this scripture passage, it would greatly benefit us to reflect on it and find who we are in the story. There are many figures to relate with - Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna. Or consider the fact that there were very likely others around for this ceremony. Where do we fit? Where do I fit? Are there things in my life, or maybe my life as a whole, that need to be presented to the Father and consecrated to Him and Jesus was offered and consecrated? Do we hear the words of Simeon foretelling Mary's own future suffering speaking to some suffering in our life today? Are we being called to simply trust and listen for the voice of the Lord as Joseph was? Is there a place in our lives where we are full of rejoicing as Simeon and Anna at the sight of the Christ? Are we like those unnamed souls gathered in the Temple that day, who are simply caught up in wonder at the things unveiling before their eyes?
These questions are only the surface though, for much more remains to be unveiled as we begin to really pray with the words of Sacred Scripture. We need only spend the time with Lord to begin to see and understand it.