Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The Feast of the Presentation
The story of the Presentation looks like a first-century story about Jesus being brought to the Temple and about Simeon’s and Anna’s responses, but it is really a present-day story about Jesus being brought to us and the way in which we respond to Jesus.
The invitation of today’s feast is not only, “Will you let Jesus in?” but also, “Will you respond generously to Jesus’ entrance?” For it’s one thing to let Jesus in – it is a major accomplishment, a major surrender, to let Jesus in to our lives. But how do we respond to him, once he enters our “temple?” Are we able to receive him with generosity as did Simeon and Anna?
Often we resist when Jesus tries to enter in – I know I do. It’s not easy to have such love so close! But if we are able to receive Jesus with generosity, it can free us. Notice how Simeon was ready to “depart in peace” after he greeted Jesus – Simeon was freed. Likewise if we are able to not merely let Jesus in but also to greet his entrance with generosity, it can be extremely freeing for us.
One way to receive Jesus with generosity is to ask God for the grace that we might receive Jesus with generosity. For example: “Lord, I pray that I may respond with openness and generosity to your invitation.” What is Jesus going to say: “No?” Of course not! Jesus wants to enter in, to be received into our temple, and will gladly answer our prayer and will give us that generosity.
I invite us, then, on this Feast of the Presentation, to not only let Jesus into our “temple,” but also to ask for the grace that we might receive him with generosity.