Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Mass Readings - February 2, 2014 with Reflection

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

1ST READING - Malachi 3:1-4
Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who  can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord, as in days of old, as in years gone by.
P S A L M - Psalm 24:7, 8, 9, 10
R: Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in! (R) Who is this king of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. (R) Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may come in! (R) 10 Who is this king of glory? The Lord of hosts; he is the king of glory. (R)
2ND READING - Hebrews 2:14-18
14 Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. 16Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; 17 therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
A light of revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.
Luke 2:22-40
22 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, 23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” 24 and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictatein the law of the Lord. 25 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. 26 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. 27He 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, 28 he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: 29 “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 31which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be   contradicted 35 — and you yourself a sword will pierce — so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” 36 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, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer. 38 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. 39 When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.


I stay with the retired and elderly priests of the Archdiocese of Manila at the beautiful retirement facility named Cardinal Sin Welcome Home. My housemates jokingly call it the “pre-departure area” for priests who await the calling of the Lord to His heavenly abode. One priest keeps his door open 24/7. It’s his way of welcoming the Lord whenever He decides to take him — He can always come in and take him when He wants to.

       Simeon, a very old man who was told that he would not die until he sees the Messiah, chanced upon Jesus as He was brought to the temple for the customary presentation of the first male fruit of a mother’s womb. After many years of waiting, praying and enthusiastic anticipation, he finally saw the “light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.”

       Malachi’s prophecy has come to reality: “And suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.” For old man Simeon, seeing Jesus is the completion of a journey. Thus, he says, “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation.”

       A life filled with Jesus encounters is a complete life. For when can we ask the Lord to take us? When can we ever be ready to go? Only if we are able to do a Simeon — that is, embrace Jesus and recognize Him, and make Him alive in our lives and in others.

       Today’s celebration of the “Candelaria” reminds us that this Light, who once made Himself manifest to Simeon in the temple, continues to light our paths. Without this Light, we will forever be groping in the dark.

       I can only wonder until when my housemates, who are old and sick, will still be with us in this “pre-departure area.” But one thing is sure. We can draw inspiration from their lives. They served the vineyard of the Lord for decades and continue to embrace Jesus and allow Him to come alive in their lives. For them and for Simeon, it was worth the wait! Fr. Erick Y. Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: How do you spend your life while waiting for the coming of Jesus?
Lord Jesus, like Simeon, may I eagerly await Your coming and prepare myself always to meet You.

St. Joan de Lestonnac, pray for us.

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