December 29, 2014

The Gospel Today

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Luke 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Francis James Mendiola):

          Today we read about a man who stuck it out and remained righteous and devout until he saw the messiah. For me, today’s reading brings me to ponder on the times that I had to stick it out. To focus on only one thing and to strive for it no matter what. As I am still at a loss for where my life is headed I find refuge in the example of Simons perseverance. I realized that having something to look forward to and live for is what life is all about. In the everyday that we have spent on this earth we have depended on God to live. Our obedience is a saving grace and choice that we make that makes us prosper and grow through life.

          We have just finished celebrating Christmas and it was a great time, celebrating the joy of a savior that has come for us and reminds us of what relationships are for. But as time continues on, even a few days after, I often find myself distracted by things received, the parties and food. Then life starts to turn for the worst. These things in themselves are good things but the moment we are consumed by them and we start worshipping them bad things happen. For example music, most of the cruelest people in history loved music. But then it could be used to both inspire people to do evil just as much as it can inspire people to do well. But how about love? It is good and most special to all of humanity. Some people who put love of country above the love of God and goodness often committed terrible evils.

What am I driving at? The devoutness to the one God and to place him first in every decision made, will result in a righteous life, not just because you have notions of being righteous.

Today’s Gospel reminds me of how Simeon was devout to the end even if it meant no sign of consolation for a very long time. A true example of how we ought to live. It is only through perseverance that we understand on how to put God first.

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