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James Martin, S.J.February 03, 2020
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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This week we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which comes 40 days after Christmas. It’s sometimes known as “Candlemas Day,” since the blessing and procession of candles is sometimes included in today's liturgy. In the Gospel for the day we read about Simeon and Anna, two elderly and holy people who both had been, in their own ways, waiting for the coming of the Lord. When Simeon meets Jesus he takes the child in his arms and says, “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation.” The Gospel tells us that Mary and Joseph were amazed by what Simeon said. Some say it’s almost like a second Annunciation for Mary. Then Anna, who is 84 years old, comes and sees the child and she, too, praises God for this great blessing.

For me the Presentation is a wonderful feast about waiting. Imagine being Simeon and Anna. Or maybe some people listening to this, who are in their 80s, don’t have to do much imagining! Simeon and Anna are elderly, to be sure, but they are something else: patient. Their story is a reminder of the virtue of patience and the necessity of waiting in the Christian life, even if you are prophets like they were. So maybe this week, you could ask God to help you be a little more like Simeon and Anna. Just a little more patient. And be attentive to the time when the Lord comes into your life.

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