Thursday, January 30, 2014
Early morning workers are just beginning to set up the beach chairs. They are always in very orderly rows. I was also impressed with how neat these umbrellas were wrapped.
The feast of the Presentation of Jesus, February 2, was the old end of the Christmas season. In his telling of the story Luke in 2:22-40 wants to make it clear that Jesus comes from a good Jewish family who live by strict obedience to the religious Law. Simeon comes on the scene, not because of the Law, but led by the Holy Spirit. He and Anna represent faithful Jews who were waiting for the Messiah and accept Jesus as the fulfillment of that promise. Simeon's beautiful prayer expressing this has been part of the official night prayer of the Church since the 5th century.
But Simeon then goes on to say that many of his fellow Jews will not accept Jesus. He uses the image of a sword that separates those who will accept Jesus from those who will not. He even indicates that being the physical mother of Jesus doesn't automatically put Mary on the right side. Like everyone she will still have to decide for or against. So do we.