This past Sunday, February 2nd, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Church celebrated Jesus, the King of Glory, like us in all things but sin, being presented in his Temple to be a light for all the nations.
This feast originated in the 4th century in Jerusalem, and by the 5th century was celebrated in Rome under its Greek title, “Feast of the Meeting.” Also known as Candlemas Day, this is the day when candles to be used in Church services and liturgies are traditionally blessed and carried in procession into the Church.
On this Feast, our Community joined the other consecrated religious of our Diocese and the world to celebrate the Twenty-third Annual Commemoration of the Consecrated Life. This celebration was established in 1997 by St. John Paul II “to be a suitable occasion for consecrated persons to renew their commitment and rekindle the fervor which should inspire their offering of themselves to the Lord.”
Like Anna and Simeon in the Gospel for this Feast (Luke 2:22-40), who spent their long lives waiting to encounter the Lord, we are all seeking that special encounter, that call to meet the Lord in a very personal way. Time spent daily in prayer, lectio, the Eucharist, Divine Office and service of God’s people are different paths we take toward this encounter. Day after day and year after year, our constancy to these practices is a witness to the power of the encounter between God who became flesh and an expectant humanity eager to respond to the “Light of the World”.
At the end of our lives, may we, like Simeon, respond to the wonder of this encounter with his canticle.
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)
By Sister Janet Marie Flemming, OSB