There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
One again the reality of the calendar crams so much spiritual reality into this long New Year’s weekend. Today we meet the prophetess Anna as she prays and fasts in the temple at Jerusalem. She was speaking to everyone about the child born in Bethlehem. As she did so, Mary and Joseph arrived in the temple to present Jesus to the Lord, meeting both Simeon and Anna. In two sentences, Luke then relates that Mary and Joseph returned with Jesus to Nazareth. where Jesus “grew in size and strength, filled with wisdom….and the grace of God was upon him.”
Take some time this weekend, as the New Year 2018 dawns, to flip through your 2017 calendar. Where over the last 12 months was God’s grace strong in your personal life? How was God’s grace active and alive within your family? What personal life experiences do you especially treasure from this past year? How will they influence the way you begin this new year of grace and possibility?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
For all that has been, thank you. For all that is to come, yes!