Grace to you!
I love Church liturgical feast days. Through them I appreciate more and more the blessings of divine providence.
Feast days are special to me. In them I find a little of the heavenly blessings in store for us. I also find a little of what I could become by the grace of God.
Today, in our Catholic tradition, we celebrate the feast of the presentation of the Child Jesus in the Jerusalem temple. A normal Jewish ritual of presenting a son to the Lord following specific guidelines prescribed in the Law of Moses (Exodus 13:12-15 and Leviticus 12:1-8), took on a prophetic tone when the prophesy of Malachi 3:1-4 was fulfilled: “The Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple...” (Mal 3:1).
The Gospel of Luke gives us some details about the joy and excitement of those who witnessed the parents of Jesus presenting him to the temple. The devout and righteous Simeon exclaimed in joy, singing the nunc dimitis— “now Lord let your servant depart” (Lk 2:29-32). Anna, the prophetess and widow, who spent most of her days praying in the temple, also praised God who has come to His temple (Lk 2:36-38).
God’s true and living temple is you. How about a situation where God is welcomed into His temple, which is you—a situation where every part of this body of yours and mine, from the arteries to the veins, the blood to the tissues, the heart and soul; indeed, our DNA is so nurtured in the spiritual sense, making our entire being a welcome home for the Lord through the enduring consent of our will? How about God taking full possession of us?
How about a situation where our emotions, passions and sentiments are a resounding yes to the Lord, our Maker, the light of the world? Such a situation could be what the presentation of the Lord in the Jerusalem temple over 2000 years ago represents for the individual. Then we will be beaming with that light which lights up the darkness in the world and in the hearts of many.
There is one more spiritual way to look at it. How about we present ourselves to the Lord, who is abiding in his temple (us) in such a way that God and us are so united we think what God thinks, walk in His footsteps and become His voice for others to hear and be saved? The Lord who is light illumines us so we shine the light for everyone to see.
May I ask: Is God the owner of your heart; or rather, are you offering your life back to the Lord who is the owner of this temple? How much control of your life and affairs have you surrendered to God? Or, are you afraid or hesitant to do so? There is freedom and joy in letting God be in charge.
Praying for the grace of devotion and surrender to the will of God. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Presentation of the Lord: Mal 3: 1-4; Lk 2:22-40 or 22-32]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.