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Jesus in Your Life

The Presentation of Our Lord

First Reading: Malachi 3:1-4

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 24:7, 8, 9, 10

R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

Second Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18

Since the children share in blood and flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters
in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus 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:

“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 the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for 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
Band you yourself a sword will pierceB
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also 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.

NAB

feb 2 (1)

It was just a typical day. A young Jewish couple bringing their infant son into the temple to complete the ceremonies that the law required for purification and presentation. In the temple, we also find two faithful Jews: Simeon and Anna, who devotedly await the desire of nations.

This wasn’t something that would ordinarily attract especial attention.

But this wasn’t an ordinary moment. An ordinary ritual, yes. But made holy and awesome because of the presence of our Savior. And both Anna and Simeon are able to see and to recognize His presence. After spending decades in earnest contemplation, developing their spirits, they have allowed the Holy Spirit to be at work in their lives and are given the eyes to see Christ in their midst. A tiny, unassuming baby.

This is one of my favorite things to contemplate when I pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Ordinary acts: announcing a baby, visiting a family member in need, the birth of a child, a post-birth ceremony, and losing (and then of course) finding a child. But add in Jesus, and these acts become extraordinary.

How often do we trudge through the ordinary of our everyday without once considering the extraordinary? Folding piles of laundry, feeding of small children, attending required classes and monotonous meetings, driving through traffic. No, these are not great in and of themselves. But we have been given the Holy Spirit, who will help us to see the grace and love of Jesus in the ordinary.

May we never disregard time spent in prayer and contemplation, even if it’s just the ten minutes we spend commuting from one place to another. Like Simeon and Anna, our reaction to seeing Jesus at work should be one of joy and praise. When we take a moment to see Jesus in the everyday, our eyes are opened to the extraordinary.

Today pray for your eyes to be opened to see the extraordinary. Take a few minutes to stop and contemplate how knowing Jesus has changed even the small moments in your life.

Sarah Ortiz is a Catholic convert, and when not folding laundry, she can be found reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or writing at her blog. You can find out more about her here.

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