Mary and Joseph present Jesus at the Temple
From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Each New Year brings us new opportunities to know Him, to walk in faith, and grow by His grace. May your year be blessed in the Lord! Ms. Cook
Theme: Mary and Joseph present Jesus at the Temple in accordance with the Law of Moses.
Scripture: Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Luke 2:25-26
God is always faithful in keeping His promises. In the Bible, there is a story about a man named Simeon. Simeon was a very old man who had faithfully served God all of his life. Simeon was looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. God had promised Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the Christ, the promised Messiah.
A few days after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph took him to the temple to dedicate him to God. Simeon was in the Temple. As soon as Simeon saw the baby, he knew that Jesus was the Christ and that God had kept his promise that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Lord, now let your servant die in peace. As you have promised, I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people.”
Anna, a prophet, was also in the Temple. She was always at the Temple worshiping and praying. She came along just as Simeon was talking to Mary and Joseph. When she heard what Simeon was saying, she began praising God and telling everyone that this child was the Savior that God had promised. Both Simeon and Anna knew that God is faithful to his promise just as he is faithful to his promises to you and me.
Today, as we begin a new year, let’s remember that just as God is faithful in keeping his promises, we should be faithful in keeping our promises. It doesn’t matter whether it is a promise to ourselves, a promise to a friend, or a promise to God. After all, a promise is a promise!
Dear Father, just as you are faithful to keep your promises, help us to be faithful in keeping our promises. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life.
Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: Which family member or older person of faith can I ask this week about her or his relationship with God?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
A Father’s Love
Written by Lorhainne Eckhart
Illustrated by Sherrill Welz
Today’s celebration of the Feast of the Holy Family highlights the importance of family in our religious life. We know that Mary and Joseph’s faithfulness to God enabled them to cooperate in God’s plan for our salvation by accepting the responsibility to raise God’s Son, Jesus. From his parents, Jesus learned how to be a faithful believer in his Jewish tradition. Simeon’s prophecy about Mary’s sorrow alerts us to the importance of a family’s commitment to one another, a commitment that is expressed in both good times and bad.
Gather as a family and recall times when your family showed its commitment to one another in good times and in bad. Recall times when your immediate family was supported by members of your extended family. Note that today we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Family, and we see in the family of Jesus an example for our own family life. Read together today’s Gospel, Luke 2:22-40. Joseph and Mary expressed their faithfulness to God through their observance of the Law of Moses. Simeon prophesied the grief that Mary would experience at the foot of Jesus’ cross. One of the blessings of family life is our commitment to one another, sharing good times and supporting one another through difficult times. Conclude in prayer together thanking God for the grace expressed in your family’s commitment to another. Write a prayer together, thanking God for your family life and asking God to strengthen your family’s commitment to one another. Pray this prayer together.