Thursday 29 December 2022 – FIDELITY TO GOD’S WILL

Octave of Christmas

1st Reading: 1 Jn 2:3-11

Beloved: The way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments.  Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.  This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.  Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning.  The old commandment is the word that you have heard.  And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.  Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall.  Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Gospel: Lk 2:22-35

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.  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.  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.  He 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, he took him into his arms and blessed God,  saying: “Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the  nations and the glory of your people Israel.”  The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 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 (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

FIDELITY TO GOD’S WILL: Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary take the child to the Temple, to perform two important rituals prescribed in the Torah – purification of Mary and redemption of their firstborn son, since “very firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord” (Luke 2:23; see Leviticus 12, Exodus 13:12-15). Mary and Joseph are presented to us as very pious and God-fearing people, who keep the Torah diligently. Their faithfulness earned them blessing from the Lord through Simeon, a man of God. God reveals his Son to Simeon, who longed for the divine encounter and God granted him before his death. We too long for the encounter with Jesus. Jesus gives us many opportunities and ways to encounter him in our lives. As long as we remain faithful in our discipleship, just like Anna, Simeon, Joseph and Mary, Jesus abides with us.

Prayer: Help me Lord to be always faithful to you.


LET ME DEPART IN PEACE:  Thomas Clarkson and William Smith had worked very hard for the abolition of slave trade in England. When Thomas Clarkson, who was an ordained deacon in the Anglican Church, heard of the abolition of slave trade in England in 1807, he wrote to William Smith, “dear brother, now let us depart in peace for our eyes have seen the salvation prepared for our people”. Simeon was a spirit filled person. He was promised that he would not die without seeing Salvation. Led to the temple by the Holy Spirt, he declared that Jesus was that Salvation. The spirit of Jesus invites us to participate in building a world which is just, peaceful and loving. Unless we collaborate in building a better world, we shall not depart in peace.

PRAYER: Lord give me the opportunity to see a world of equality, justice and love before my death.


YOUR WORD HAS BEEN FULFILLED: Keeping us within the spirit of the Joyful Mysteries, the gospel reading narrates to us the event of the presentation of the Lord in the temple – the feast will be actually celebrated on 2nd February. During the event of the presentation as narrated by Luke in addition to Jesus and his parents, there are two persons present in the scene: a prophet and a prophetess. The gospel of text of today focuses on Simeon. His prayer (the Nunc Dimittis) is very powerful: “Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled…” The old man is able to see in the person of this little 40-days old baby the fulfilment of the promise of God, the messiah who would reestablish the glory of God. What powerful eyes! The eyes of faith! We too should spend some time in front of the crib looking at the wonderful mystery enacted there. Yes, His words have been fulfilled.