Gospel Reflections

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Luke 2:22-40

Feast Day Reflection by Sister Barbara Barry

Published: February 02, 2017

Read Luke 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the... Read More…


Mary and Joseph, a truly religious couple, do what is expected forty days after the birth of their son. They come to the Temple, risking the attention this action might bring to them, so that Mary can be purified and their son can be redeemed. But for those who pay attention this very ordinary act becomes an opportunity for God to reveal God’s self in a deeper way.

For years the Jews awaited the coming of the Messiah and now is the moment. God’s people are being saved through the birth of God’s Son. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit though, Simeon enlarges that message and reveals that, not only is this Child the Messiah long awaited by the Jews, but the child is also the light of revelation to the gentiles.  Because Simeon pays attention to the action of the Spirit in his life, he makes a profound announcement in the Temple that is a hint of the changes to come.

Centuries later, a simple woman in France, reflecting on this scripture story and celebrating the feast of the Presentation with her sisters, is also paying attention and comes to the realization that this small group of women who has gathered with her to proclaim God’s goodness, will go all over the world to make God’s goodness known. St. Julie’s action and response to grace expands, once again, God’s vision of the reign of God. The invitation to wholeness is for all.

God’s vision for all of creation is bigger than any one of us can grasp at any one moment in time. God continues to reveal God’s self through women and men, like ourselves, who pay attention to the way the Spirit speaks and acts in our world today. The reign of God continues to expand. The aim is “to bring all things in to one in Him” (Eph. 1:10).

But ours is a troubled world. And we are hearing our leaders call for isolation rather than interdependence. We are hearing calls for “power over” rather than “power for.”  We are hearing desires for what’s good for me not what’s good for all. 

In your quiet moments today, join yourself to Simeon and consider what the Spirit is calling you to say and do as you pay attention to what is around you.  Be that voice that moves the reign of God forward. 

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