Lk 2:22-40 Be Positive! Praise the Lord!
Today is the feast of the presentation of the Lord; that is, the day our Lord made his very first public appearance in the Temple. He was a simple baby, but what a baby! Although the Word could not speak a word, his appearance in the Holy Temple will be repeated again - a repeat performance, starting twelve years later, when he is found, to the surprise of his mother and father, alone and preaching the Good News to the doctors of the Law.
There is hope. Yes. The Psalmist asks, “Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord” (Ps 24:8). He is our hope. When all seems lost and dark and gloomy, there is hope. Hope is better served when the going gets tough. Hope has an everlasting affect when all appears lost and victory can only be imagined. We hope in many people and in many things. For this reason, our faith in hope is poor. We hope in the wrong things and in the wrong people. We, like Simeon, must trust in the Lord. “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 the sight of all the peoples.”
Here he is: the child of God, the Son of the Most High, the Light of the World - the Savior of all. Here I am: a child of God, a son and daughter of the Most High, a light to the World – a magnet to all. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that good enough? Now, let yourself go! Lord, let your servant go in peace, in love and in confidence. Allow me to be an instrument, a vessel, a mighty staff in your hands. Send your messenger; send me to prepare your Way; the way of the Lord! Allow me to see sin as an opportunity to bring those around me around you. May I never think that I am in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that with you by my side, I must go to Jerusalem and rise to the occasion.
Everything – everything that happens, praise the Lord! When I am bullied at school – praise the Lord for I imitate the suffering the Lord experienced at the hands of the most egregious of bullies, and allow others to come and carry me home. It is a vivid reminder to the world that sin will never disappear with education, but with holiness. When I am mocked and scorned at work for my faith, may I praise the Lord in imitating the scorn and suffering he endured for being true to himself! Then I will know that I am in the right place and time so as to bear witness to the on-going mocking and humiliation of our Lord!
Be positive today! Place a smile on your face! For the Lord did not sacrifice his life with sadness but with joy! The Lord did not grudgingly go about his business dragging his feet; but hastened for the day he could show his perfect love for all sinners. He got knocked down; he got back up. Not out of drunkenness, as his accusers would say, or because of the tainted wine offered to him on the cross, but because he knew who he was and he would not trade it in for single slap, punch, kick or thorn in his face. However, he did offer it up for me.