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Saturday, February 2, 2008

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Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 24
Luke 2:22-40

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perseverance and the presentation spirit

"He came to the temple now, inspired by the Spirit." —Luke 2:27

"The Holy Spirit was upon" Simeon (Lk 2:25). He had long awaited the consolation of Israel and the coming of the Messiah (Lk 2:25-26). The Holy Spirit had even revealed to Simeon that he would personally see the Christ before he died (Lk 2:26).

The Holy Spirit also was upon Anna. Though Luke's Gospel doesn't explicitly link Anna and the Spirit, it calls her a prophetess (Lk 2:36). She used the Spirit's gift of prophecy. The Spirit also inspired Anna to constantly fast, pray, and worship (Lk 2:37).

Unlike many Israelites before them, Anna and Simeon persevered in readiness. They were instantly ready to act when Jesus appeared (see Mal 3:2). Many other Israelites weren't ready for the Messiah, failed to recognize Him, and so rejected Him.

Why did Simeon and Anna recognize Jesus when others couldn't?

  1. When Jesus came, they readily spoke of Him. Since people speak from the abundance of their hearts, this shows their hearts were always filled with God (Lk 6:45).
  2. They wouldn't allow a long wait to dim their hope in the Lord. Their suffering and personal holiness led to constant, vigilant, living hope (Rm 5:3-5).
  3. Though the Holy Spirit hadn't been poured out, they were mysteriously "inspired by the Spirit" (Lk 2:27). They yielded to the Spirit rather than ignoring Him.

"Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). Stay present to Jesus (Mk 14:37). Be ready for Jesus like Simeon and Anna.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I live in the present (Mt 6:34), and present myself daily to You. Each day I will wait for You in joyful hope.

Promise:  "He is able to help those who are tempted." —Heb 2:18

Praise:  Praise Jesus, God Incarnate, Who was made subject to the law for our sakes.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007

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