February 2, 2016

Gospel LK 2:22-32
When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
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 Christ 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 the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”
Mary and Joseph had both been told by an angel that the infant Jesus was the Anointed One. Yet, they still felt it necessary to observe the religious law of the day which called for them to bring Jesus to the Temple to be consecrated in accordance with the written law.
Simeon had been patiently awaiting the arrival of the Christ child. Upon seeing Him he said, “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word….”
Two thousand years later, loving parents continue to present their infants to the Lord by bringing them to the Church to be baptized.
As a grandparent, I can sympathize with Simeon. Knowing that my grandchildren have each been presented to God and baptized in the name of Jesus Christ leaves me with the same feeling,
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace…”
The greatest gift we can give our children is a foundation in faith. That foundation begins with baptism and continues through the examples set by family and religious education.
The seeds of faith may be planted by God but they must be nurtured by family and church.

“To understand your parent’s love, you must raise children yourself.”
Chinese Proverb