Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord- Candlemas. Did you have candles blessed?

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: 'Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel'" (Luke 2,25-32).

Presentation of the Lord, painted by Giovanni Bellini sometime between 1460-64
"There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem" (Luke 2,36-37).

Jesus is the Messiah of Lord, the Light of World, the Light that shines in the darkness. Have your candles blessed, light them and be aware of the presence of Him Who is, Who was, and Who is to come. Live in this awareness, let's help each other live in the awareness of His merciful gaze. Sts. Anna and Simeon, pray for us that, like the two of you, we, too, may recognize the Messiah of God and live worthily of our anointing in Baptism and Confirmation.

More where the rubber hits-the-road (literally), from the Ironic Catholic, though I am not a big fan of bumper stickers, I want one. Who knows, perhaps I'll get flipped off one less time this year? Since I have already introduced an element of randomness and given that I was listening to A Prairie Home Companion, as is my habit on Saturday evenings, on which the incredible and lovely Nanci Griffith was a guest, I invite you to do yourself a favor and watch a simple performance of a beautiful song, her Love At the Five and Dime. After all, we all want a love that is love. What is it about dark haired, brown-eyed women musicians (calling EmmyLou)? It's a mystery to me, even though I married the most beautiful one of all.

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