When I became a godmother for the first time, upon dressing my newborn goddaughter, we realized the store had failed to remove the ink-filled sensor tag.
We rushed to the store, through the icy streets and snow, only to find it still closed. The parents were horrified that the priest and guests may think we were baptizing the child in a stolen garment. Every weekend babies are baptized, and frequently our thoughts are fluttering around some sort of earthly issue instead of the Sacrament itself.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could approach each of the Sacraments and the days we receive them with less concern for the temporal parts of the day, allowing ourselves to focus on the sacred?
How often do we race to Mass, stressed because we didn’t leave adequate time? Or worried that our clothes don’t flatter our figure? How often do we approach a special Sacrament of a loved one with bitterness because we were not selected as the bridesmaid, or sponsor, or godparent? How often our thoughts are stuck on us and how others may perceive us, rather than on the reality that we are experiencing Christ the King?
As I pondered the Gospel from Luke today (Luke 2:22-40), I couldn’t help but think of the years leading up to the presentation of Jesus in the temple.
I think of all the Jewish families who brought their babies to the temple. I think of them scraping money together for the sacrifice and planning the celebration afterwards. I wonder if Simeon watched these families bustle in, some prayerful, joyful, reverent, but perhaps others distracted or disengaged from the ritual.
I think of the Holy Family, and how their entrance must have been different than all the rest. Anna and Simeon were both moved by the Holy Spirit and declared this infant as their King.
Today, let us open our eyes and recognize the King in our own midst.
Learn a little more about the Canticle of Simeon here.
Dr. MaryRuth Hackett is the host of the podcast Parenting Smarts. She loves historical fiction, dark chocolate, watching her children play soccer, a good cup of coffee (decaf please) and the quiet of the early morning. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and has a passion for helping parents understand the way their children grow and develop. She is a contributing author to our children’s devotional prayer book called Rise Up. You can find out more about her here.