The Real Thing

“He came to the temple now, inspired by the Spirit, and when the parents brought in the Child Jesus to perform for Him the customary ritual of the law, he took Him in his arms and blessed God.” —Luke 2:27-28

Some orthodox Jews have the custom of using the birth of a baby boy as an occasion to discourse on the coming of the Messiah. An older relative traditionally starts the conversation with the question: “Could this baby be the Messiah?” Then various relatives wax eloquently about the coming and the glories of the Messiah.Some people may have thought that Simeon and Anna were only engaging in this traditional conversation when they were talking about the Child Jesus “to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem” (Lk 2:38). Simeon and Anna may have then even more vehemently insisted that Jesus was “a revealing Light to the Gentiles, the Glory” of Israel (Lk 2:32). But people may have thought this was part of the game. Then Simeon and Anna would have tried to tell them this wasn’t a game, but the real thing. This Baby was the Messiah!We face a similar situation in our day. When we proclaim Jesus as Messiah and Lord, people think this is merely the religious game and the standard church-talk. Yet we, like Simeon and Anna, must be filled with the Holy Spirit and proclaim that this is the real thing. Jesus is the Messiah. Christmas is real. God has become a man. We are saved. Jesus is Lord and God (see Jn 20:28).

PRAYER: Father, may our family life be so holy that it shouts Jesus is the Messiah.

PROMISE: “He remembers forever His covenant which He made binding for a thousand generations.” —Ps 105:8

PRAISE: “Observe, my son, your father’s bidding, and reject not your mother’s teaching” (Prv 6:20). Jesus, we thank You for modeling humility and obedience in family life.

(From a reflection by Fr Al Lauer) For the full Readings please go

John Portelli

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