The Gospel Today
The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
There was 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.
Reflection (Sem. John Paul Adia):
What made prophet Anna keeps going despite her advancing in age and manage to stay and never left the temple but worship there with fasting and prayer, is the faith where she finds strength and determination to live in victory looking forward for the redemption of Jerusalem. This is a sustaining faith that willed her heart over the course of years doing everything to get into the divine prophecy when God accomplish His plan for deliverance.
What is the challenge for us?
When we look back at what we considered to be the worst things that happened to us, we realize that God uses even that time of difficulty for our self-refinement, for our growth and development, molding us to become a better person. God shapes and prepares us for the good things to come. He wants us to be ready and equip so that in times of adversity we can hold on to something solid, and that is the rock of our foundation, our faith. Had God has not pushed us out of our comfort zones we would probably still left behind and still feeling wrong about ourselves especially when we are facing failures, disappointments and setbacks in life. Yet we prevail and live because we endure, we bear, we hope and we believe.
Know that God never challenge us beyond our capacities. He always makes sure that we will overcome the complexities in life if we keep our faith in Him. Like the prophetess Anna, speaking words of faith perhaps is a good start to build our trust in God. If we expect good things in life, our words should set direction on our lives.