Sixth day in the Octave of Christmas, 30 December – Gospel

Commentary on Luke 2:36-40

The Gospel is a continuation of yesterday’s reading about the Presentation in the Temple. It deals with the second person who was present on that day. Her name was Anna and she is described as a prophetess, in other words a person who was a spokesperson for God. One does not often meet women prophets in the Scriptures; most of them are men. She was also elderly and had only lived for seven years with her husband. She was now 84 and had been a widow all these years. Again, widows were at the lowest rung of the social ladder. They could not produce children nor had they much chance of getting re-married. In many ways they were social nobodies.

But Anna was a deeply spiritual person who spent her waking hours in the Temple, praying and fasting. She also came on the scene just as Jesus and his parents were in the Temple. She, too, must have realised the true identity of the Child and gave thanks to God. She then began to speak about the Child to everyone, especially those awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

This short passage says a few important things:

– Our social status is of no consequence where our relationship with God is concerned.

– If we want to be close to God, prayer has to be a very important part of our day.

– Jesus can come into our life at any time and in any place – it may be a church or it may be a disco.

– Once we really come to know Jesus, we cannot keep it to ourselves but must share the experience with the people around us, especially those who are looking for some meaning in their lives.

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