"Obedience unites us so closely to God that it in a way transforms us into Him, so that we have no other will but His. If obedience is lacking, even prayer cannot be pleasing to God. " – St Thomas Aquinas
Gospel Text: (LK 2:36-40)
There was 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.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.
"In obedience to the Old Law, the Lord Jesus, the first-born, was presented in the Temple by his Blessed Mother and his foster father. This is another 'epiphany' celebration insofar as the Christ Child is revealed as the Messiah through the canticle and words of Simeon and the testimony of Anna the prophetess.
Here is Anna at age eighty-four, well past the average life expectancy for her time but still active and alert. She sees Mary and Joseph enter the Temple courts with their baby, and all of a sudden, three generations intersect. How did she know that Jesus was the Messiah? Her heart was tuned into God’s heart. She “worshiped night and day” in the Temple (Luke 2:37). And so she was able to look Mary and Joseph in the eye and proclaim the purpose for which this little child was born.
Because Anna’s whole life was dedicated to worship, her spirit was open to the Lord and his revelation. She kept the lines of communication open, and that’s what enabled her to offer words of encouragement and prophecy to Mary and Joseph and to the people around her.
How are you doing in the area of worship?
You don’t have to spend your whole life in church, mind you. But you should try to make worship a key part of your daily routine. As you focus your heart on the Lord and his goodness and redemption, you’ll begin to experience a new joy. You’ll find yourself more open to God’s word and more ready to trust his plan.