Grace: I ask for intimate knowledge of the Lord Jesus who for me lived as an infant under the faithful and tender care of Mary and Joseph.
Text: Luke 2:22-38
Reflection: After Jesus is born and circumcised Mary and Joseph take their newly first-born son to Jerusalem. This is in order to live in accordance with the law that they received from Moses: all first-born sons shall be presented to God in the Temple so that they may be consecrated to Him. The law indicated that children should be presented within forty days of birth.
We can take time during our prayer to imagine how Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus make their way from the area of Bethlehem up to Jerusalem in order to fulfill the law. They get in line just like everyone else—without privileges or exceptions. They offer two turtledoves: the sacrifice offered by the poor unable to afford a larger animal. Here we see the gentle, humble, and unassuming faithfulness of the Holy Family.
As they are waiting two people of old age approach. These are the ones who have been waiting for the coming of the Lord. They are the faithful who hope in the Lord’s promises of salvation and deliverance. The Lord has promised Simeon that he would see the Savior of Israel before passing away. What kind of joy Simeon must feel in seeing the infant Jesus! Anna, an untiring servant of the Lord who passes her day praying in the Temple, also recognizes how the Lord has chosen to come to his people: as a child. The most expected person in the history of humanity comes in the most unexpected of ways. What a beautiful surprise!
Questions: What do Mary and Joseph talk about as they wait in line? How do they look upon their son? What are they doing throughout this scene? Are they tired? Well-rested? What kind of things do I notice about Mary, about Joseph, and about the baby Jesus? How does the Holy Family react to Simeon’s prayer of thanksgiving? How do they receive the blessings of Simeon and Anna?