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Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Lord says ... Luke 2:22-40

*SUNDAY GOSPEL

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus 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:  “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,  a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for 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.” 

There was also 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 worshipped 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.



THE LONG JOURNEY

It has been a tradition for us when a baby is born,  the child needs to be baptized first.  Then when the child reaches the latter age between 7-9 years old, he or she needs to receive  the Sacrament of Confirmation. There is always a grand celebration for these two occasions.  Relatives and close friends are chosen to act as godmothers and godfathers for the child on each occasion. Different kinds of gifts are given for the child.

I have four children and each of them was presented to our Lord. They all received the two sacraments – Baptism and Confirmation.  Now, they are all grown ups and have finished their college degrees. Two of my daughters have already their respective family.  My two youngest children are still single.  Each of them has their chosen careers --one is in business, one is in business consultancy, one is a flight cabin crew, and the youngest is an IT graduate working in a cellular company.  I’m just proud of them all and their achievements.  The road to what God has planned for them is not an easy path.  There were bumps and holes along the way, but it didn’t prevent them from continuing to take the long journey towards their goals. It pierces my heart as a mother, if they go astray and take the wrong route. Lastly, the route intended for my youngest ones to take will still be another long journey and  I’m leaving it up to God’s hands.  

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" I will sing of your salvation. In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue me and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord, my trust, O God from my youth. On you I depend my birth; from my mother's womb, you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds."

Psalm 71:1-2, 3-4a