Today is exactly forty days since the birth of Christ. The old liturgical calender had this weekend the final weekend of the Nativity. This feast, however, was once the "Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary" weekend. Which focused on Mary's fulfillment of the Jewish Laws for purification following giving birth to a child. Today this is gone, and this weekends main focus is another manifestation of Jesus. The first manifestation, the visit from the wise men, was a manifestation to the Gentile community. Today, on the other hand is the manifestation to his own people-he is following Jewish traditions. In a sense, today could be looked at as the second epiphany.
In the Gospel, we are presented the story of Jesus being presented in the Temple. We are presented, as Simeon says, "...You have prepared in the presence of all peoples a light for revelation... to your people..." We are given the light for discovery by all of God's children. The light, which illuminates our lives, offers us salvation, and makes us ready to be accepted into Gods holy hands.
When light reaches an object it does one (or more) of the following: It reflects, gets absorbed by the color of the object or it refracts ( I won't be focusing on refracting) . Light will be reflected back to us, refracted or changed in an angle or absorbed all together. In a similar way, Jesus is the same. Three things can happen when him (the almighty light) hits us: It reflects off of us, it is refracted, or it is absorbed.
When the light of Jesus reaches us, one of the most important things is that is reflects off of us. It is not only a sign that light is touching it, but that it is giving back what it has been given. When we are touched by the saving light of Jesus, we are to show this light- and be proud of it! It is to reflect back in our actions and how we live our lives. When we live this light, we are using the gifts and talents God has given us, and giving them back to him-through using them joyfully!
Light, as we know, can also be absorbed by certain object. Christ shines his light strong and bright, giving us the perfect opportunity to absorb some of this light. We absorb it through his: teaching, healing, and proclaiming. His whole life is in fact light that is absorbed and light that will change not only the outside but also the inside of our souls. The Eucharistic celebration is the greatest meal where today we see the biggest radiance of his light in the Eucharist itself and the proclamation of the word. We absorb this light to grow like a plant absorbing sun light. We grow in the loving compassion of Christ.
We are told about two distinct people in todays Gospel: Simeon and Anna. Both prophets at of an older age, who both were in the temple very often, guided by the Holy Spirit. Simeon, telling Mary of the pain she will go through, and the divisions and unification her son will cause, and Anna rejoicing in the sight of the Messiah offering praises. Both had their own purpose and were both guided by the Holy Spirit. They have waited majority of their life to see this one child: this one light. When they saw the Holy Family, they saw the glorious and saving light being radiated from Jesus. They absorbed and reflected-in their whole life.
On this weekend, may we see the light offered to us all in the presentation of the Lord. May we come to absorb and reflect the light that we receive, from Christ, and actively display it in our lives. May we recieve Christ, and like Anna Simeon recognize the Light of Christ actively working in our lives. For Christ is Light for all people and shines during his second manifestation.