The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? The Day Jesus Was Wrong The Promise of the New Name The Two Feet of Love Facing the Hour Looking Backwards Touching the Leper Touching the Leper Misunderstanding God Doing It Poorly God’s Midwife A Name for the Holy Spirit The Coffin So We Do Not Have to Touch Being Better to Each Other Earthquakes and Galilee Lazarus as a Disciple Seeing More Learning from Peter Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/2/14 Imitating God’s Holiness Weekly Bulletin 3/9/14 Choosing a Master Goodness in Temptation A Pinch of Salt Teaching the Commandments The Freedom of the Baptist Christ’s Broken Body Faith Is More than Looking The Twelve Days of Christmas God’s Timing Resurrection and Transformation The Good That Is Gone Zacchaeus Moments God in the Smallest Things Trust and Community When God’s Commands Do Not Fit The Faith of Honeybees Choosing Hell Following the Dishonest Steward The Ninety-Nine The Freedom to Let Go Beyond Politics The Balance of Humility Not Fearing Fire The Beauty Remains To Welcome as a Samaritan A Moveable Peace Bring On the Women! The Two Sides of Bread Waiting for the Ticket The Groove of the Spirit Jesus Is Not Like Congress A Divine Partnership What Kind of Love Is This? Boston Bombings and God Fishing and Forgiveness A New Kind of Joy Letting Christ Out The Sign of Inversion Our Doodling God A Parable of Love and Jealousy Not Enough Time The Ordinary and the Transcendent The Battle with the Devil God Is Not Kidding The Power of Love We Are the Body of Christ The Arc of Life Waiting for the Final Gift Displacement at Christmas Incarnating God Presenting the Mess Red Cake and Lima Beans A Call to Serve Beyond Asking Jesus’ Commandment Being Ready to Take God in the Foxhole God Is Still Working Adjusting What Is Necessary Learning from the Prophet Amos About Jesus’ Brothers The Most Popular Miracle The Importance of Hunger Eternal Life Influencing Others Finding the Right Proportion Do What You Love Stopping for the Least To Love Irritating People Marriage, Divorce, and Children Asking for More Drinking the Cup Terror in Paris God Will Come Boundaries, Security, and Generosity Feeling Movements of Life A Place to Learn God Uses Small Things Signs of Life When God Says No Christian Optimism From Transition to Call The Long Struggle The Gate of Heaven Common Sense or Hope The Spoiled Son An Oasis for Everyone Jesus’ Last Meal The Curious Omission Finding a Pony Anointing of the Sick A New Commandment After the Ascension Sin and Love The Cross and Joy The Call to Follow A Call for Humility Violence in America Two Thoughts on Prayer Live Today with Thanksgiving An Examined Life The Narrow Gate Serving Ourselves Losing Sheep Using Dishonest Wealth The Door and the Chasm Faith and Duty Distance and More Not Growing Weary Making a Difference Inadequacies and Grace Finding God Facing Turmoil Jesus, Remember Me The Lion and the Lamb Wild Like John Let Go in Love A Wider Christmas The Last Six Miles God’s Big Plan The Remnant The Salt of the Earth Beyond the Ten Commandments Love Your Enemy Focusing Our Worry How Evil Works Our Transfiguration Re-membering Our Lives Our Story If Only The Time for Hope A Second Greeting of Peace The Eucharist and Welcoming Practicing Non-Violence The Work of Forgiveness Why Are You Looking Up at the Sky? The Mystery of Salvation Being Thankful How Is a Burden Light? The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? Show No Partiality Carrying the Cross for Whom? Outside the Lines The Camel and the Needle Ask First for Sight What God Sees Only God The Arc of the Universe Turmoil, Fear, and Dismay The Gift of the Desert A Punch for the Holidays Politics and Religion Jesus Always Understands One Body God’s Love The Call Blessings and Woes Imitating God’s Mercy The Blind Leading the Blind The Devil’s Agenda Looking Closer, Looking Beyond Accepting God’s Love Mob Thinking The Easter Egg Fishing with Uncle Mike Loving Like Jesus God’s in Love with This World

Faith Is More than Looking

February 2, 2014 click on left end of black bar to play-pause

February 2, 2014
Luke 2:22-40
Fr. George Smiga

Today is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This feast is always celebrated on February 2nd, but it has been years since it has fallen on a Sunday.

At the time of Jesus, it was Jewish custom that every male child would be presented in the Temple forty days after that child’s birth. Joseph and Mary were pious Jews, and so we have no doubt that they brought Jesus to the Temple to be presented before the Lord. The early church wanted to celebrate this event, but there was one problem. The scriptures never give us a date of Jesus’ birth. It is, therefore, impossible to calculate what forty days after that date should be. For centuries, different early church communities experimented with different dates on which to celebrate Jesus’ birth. It was not until the 4th century that Christians settled on December 25th. Well, February 2nd is forty days after that, and this is why we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord today.

Of course, much more important than the date of Christ’s presentation is the meaning of that event for our own lives. Here we are particularly blessed, because today’s gospel from Luke is filled with meaning. Let me draw your attention to one beautiful detail. Luke tells us that there was a righteous man, named Simeon, living in Jerusalem and that the Holy Spirit had promised him that he would not die before he saw the Messiah. Coming into the Temple, Simeon sees Mary and Joseph bringing Jesus to be presented before the Lord. He takes the child in his arms and gives praise to God in the famous words, “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation.” Simeon knows that his life is now complete, because with his own eyes he has seen God’s Messiah. Then the prophetess, Anna, steps forward, and in a similar way announces to the people the significance of this child.

Now the Temple of Jerusalem was a busy place. We can be sure that many people would have noticed this young Jewish couple, Mary and Joseph, bringing their child to be presented before the Lord. Hundreds of people looked at Jesus, but only Simeon and Anna understood his significance. These two characters from the gospel, then, remind us of the essential difference between looking and seeing, between observing and understanding. Simeon and Anna call us to move beyond the surface of life and to discover the meaning and the opportunities that lie deep within it.

We can for years, live daily in our families and never notice the acts of care and kindness that are provided by our spouse or by our parent. We can overlook how one of our children or a brother or sister is always trying to be the peacemaker or the helper. And because we do not really see these actions of care, service, and peacemaking and the love that lies behind them, we are not able to affirm that love and celebrate it. Our families suffer as a consequence.

We can cooperate regularly with people at work, joining with them on effective projects. We can spend hours texting our friends, talking to them after class, or going out with them on the weekends. But although we regularly look at these co-workers and friends, we can fail to recognize a cry for help. We can fail to see how they are waiting to tell us something, asking us for our time and assistance. And because we fail to see that need, we miss the opportunity of being the agents of Christ’s healing presence.

Simeon and Anna were able to recognize God’s presence in the infant Christ. They invite us to recognize God’s presence in our lives. They ask us to slow down, to look deeper, to recognize all the opportunities that lie around us. There are people in our lives loving us who we should not take for granted. There are people needing us who we should not ignore. We are surrounded by opportunities to give thanks and to serve. But in order to discover them, we must do more than look. We must be willing to see.

Change this in Theme Options
Change this in Theme Options