The Presentation of the baby Jesus in the Temple.
When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, …
they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord.
The Christmas story tell us of God’s glad tidings of great joy to ALL people.
We can never be sure WE are making the right decision or
even truly following God’s will, BUT
we can bring ‘GOD’ our needs, trust in HIS comfort and forgiveness
and BELIEVE in HIS love for us through Jesus Christ.
We believe and trust in God’s good and gracious WILL for us in JESUS.
And then we follow in obedience.
The rest of the story of Christmas is about the obedience of Mary and Joseph. After the shepherds have returned to their flocks and the angels go back into heaven, after the Wise Men have given their gifts, Mary and Joseph do what God’s Word commands them to do— they bring the Child to be…presented…in the Temple.
Malachi tells us that GOD himself says
“I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me”…
and HE will come to the temple…the ‘ONE’ whom you desire.
Don’t miss the message:…the TEMPLE spoken about…is also right here in SKD.
The messenger that God is sending is the BABY Jesus
whom is being presented here again…today.
We…first received Him in our BAPTISM.
At which time the ACTUAL temple became OUR bodies.
You and I carry Jesus WITHIN us…each day.
Do we recognize the importance of this?
We are never ALONE.
As God refined the people Malachi is speaking to –
HE also refines ‘US’ each day – in our daily activity and decision making.
The sacrifice we make and the pain and suffering we are trying to live through –
helps refine us into the people that GOD is using today right here in FREDERICK.
And again Paul tells the Hebrew people:
“Because he Himself was tested through what he suffered,
‘HE’ is able to HELP those who are being tested.
The Responsorial Psalm ASKS the Question:
Who (or What)…is YOUR King of Glory??
‘IS’ it the LORD that lives…within your body, heart and mind?
Ponder that this week. You may be surprised by your answer.
Mary and Joseph brought the baby to the Temple.
When they were there, they were greeted by the aged Simeon and Anna—
both of them are prophets who were inspired to speak God’s Word,
The same as YOU and ‘I’ should be inspired.
Let’s focus on them for a moment:
They represent the very finest of Israel––
those who knew God’s Word and believed in Jesus…because of it.
There was Simeon, a righteous and devout ‘OLD’ man awaiting
the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon Him.
Does that remind you of Fr. Keith??
Don’t tell him I mentioned him while he was away.
Anna was 84. She never left the Temple,
but worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer.
Can you imagine that for a moment? Could you be an ANNA?
For us today, we still have these women and men in our Church –
SOME – right here at SKD.
Their role is still necessary, required and should be appreciated.
There are many women and men who make this great parish function,
day in and day out.
May we remember to thank them when their services touch our lives.
Simeon and Anna saw, knew and believed – in this baby, Jesus –
that God was fulfilling His promises.
Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah,
the consolation of Israel and the Savior of THIS world.
They realized…that God ‘HAD’…fulfill the promises…HE had made.
Fasting, prayer, devout and obedient worship and righteous living—
‘THESE’ were important and remain so – as a response to God’s grace.
They gave thanks to GOD and spoke about the child to ‘ALL’
who were awaiting the redemption of Israel.
The FAVOR of God was upon them.
“The FAVOR of God is ALSO upon ‘US’.
Today, these two figures speak to US
through this Gospel by their actions and example.
Let us continue to follow their path.
God’s Word…does ‘NOT’ tell us WHAT to think on every issue.
It does ‘NOT’ give us a map of just WHAT to do,
WHAT to think, or HOW to decide.
It ‘DOES’ promise that God ‘IS’ with us as we make decisions.
CAN I LET ‘HIM’ BE MY MENTOR IN MAKING MY DECISIONS?
Lord, make me sensitive to the Spirit’s promptings
so that the Spirit is pleased with my day to day decisions.
It promises that God hears us and ALWAYS remains with us.
God knows our needs even better than we do ourselves and
we have a loving Father in heaven who will GIVE us what we need.
God’s Word promises us ‘A’ Savior
and with ‘HIM’….forgiveness and blessing and strength.
The Shepherds have gone back to the fields
and the angels into heaven.
The Wise Men have returned to the East
‘GOD’ is still with us AND WILL ALWAYS BE …in Jesus.