Gospel – Luke 2:22-32

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 the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

The Gospel says Jesus came for Gentiles and Jews, for the whole world. Will the world open their heart gates to accept Jesus if the world sees us standing idly by during, let alone supporting, violence and injustice? It’s up to us now to present the Lord to the temples of the world’s hearts. How can they do that if they can’t trust us to act with justice and stand for the dignity and sanctity of their lives?

If today we presented ourselves to the Lord, how would our test results be? How have we examined our conscience, prayed, and received the sacraments to avail ourselves of Christ’s needed help such that we put actually put justice in action and pass these tests?

In the Gospel, Simeon wants to “go in peace.” We as Christ’s servants, sisters, and brothers can walk the way of peace simply and come to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. He walked the way of a peace rooted in justice in the face of many tests: controversy, condemnation, violence, suffering and the threat of death. Allowing Christ to free us from the fear of death is perhaps the most powerful way Christ helps face our tests. You might be blessed with someone in your life who says, “Hey! No matter what happens, I got you.” You ain’t got no one who can say that like Jesus. Only he can say, “They say they gonna kill you? Don’t worry about that. I STILL got you!”

Let’s boldly call for honesty around foreign policy and conflicts, unmask militarism, and take steps toward a Just Peace Ethic as we, the Church, present the Lord to the world.

Thad Crouch produces Choose Life Abort War Podcast for Peace, coordinates this Conference of Major Superiors of Men’s Linking the Lectionary to Justice and Peace Project, and serves on both the Social Ministry Committee and Respect Life Ministry team at St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church in Austin,

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.