30 December 2006

HE DID NOT SIMPLY PASS HER BY


Saturday in the Octave of Christmas
Lk 2:36-40

In the First Reading today (1 Jn 2:12-17), St. John the Evangelist reminds us and warns us. He reminds us that this world is passing. He warns us not to love this passing world. Both his reminder and warning are very timely as the present year has forty-eight hours or less left. The year is ending while the world may not be ending today or tomorrow. But it will end! As we have to let go of a year, we must let never cling to anything or anyone in this world. Everything and everyone here, including the world in itself, is passing!

The prophetess Anna in the Gospel knew whom to love and to  cling to. She was eighty-four years old, seven years married when she became a widow, and she never left the Temple since then, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. Her life and everything and everyone in it, like the world around her, were passing, save God, in whom she trusted, in Whom she remained. She loved God and clung to Him alone. She never trusted in the world that passes; thus, when the Newborn Son of God came, He did not just pass her by. He revealed Himself to her. She then passed on to others what passed her not: “…and she spoke of the Child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.”

As another year passes, let us stop for a long while, sit down in prayer, reflect, and examine if we have heeded St. John’s warning and followed the example of the prophetess Anna.

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