Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Sunday - The Presentation of the Lord - Sunday, February 2, 2020

Homily The Presentation of the Lord - Sunday, February 2, 2020

Malachi 3:1-4;

Psalm 23:7-10. "Who is this King of glory? It is the Lord!"

Hebrews 2:14-18;

Gospel Acclamation:  Luke 2:32 Alleluia, alleluia! This is the light of revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people, Israel. Alleluia!

Luke 2:22-40

Shutterstock Licensed Image: ID: 1232605426.  Casorate Primo, Italy. 2017/12/8. A stained glass window depicting Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the church of San Vittore Martire. By Adam Jan Figel


Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for The Presentation of the Lord - Sunday, February 2, 2020, by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-ep-204-the-feast-of-the-presentation-of-the-lord-february-2nd/s-hhZgO  (EPISODE: 204)


Prologue:  This weekend, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord occurs on a Sunday, and as a Feast day of the Lord it overrides the usual Sunday calendar of readings.  This feast originated in Jerusalem before the fifth century and was adopted in Rome during the seventh century. Celebrated forty days after Christmas, commemorating the ritual as prescribed by the Law of Moses, which the Holy Family fulfilled at this time when they presented the child Jesus, at the temple.  At this time, Lukes Gospel recounts the encounter of Jesus with Simeon and Anna in the temple. This Feast day is also a traditional time in the Christian calendar for the blessing of candles for prayer use, - the blessing of which is found in the introductory rites and the candles are carried in the entrance procession. This is because  of the reference by Simeon in his prayerful song....  that Christ is "the light to enlighten all nations".

All of Israel longed and Hoped for the Christ…. Mary and Joseph.. and Elizabeth and Zechariah… and so many more.. had longed and waited for the fulfilment of God's promises…

Waiting, Hoping, and longing for the coming of the Lord, and the establishment of God's Kingdom, in and through the Christ.

And we too, long and hope for all that God has promised us would one day be completed…..

Today's Feast reminds us that Our Hopes and deepest longings WILL be FULFILLED, - - BY our faithful God. We will be satisfied, for all our longing that match with the values and longings of the Kingdom of God.

Also in the Scriptures, this weekend is: "Freedom from Fear" and "forgiveness of sin." We can trust that God is an unconditionally loving parent… who sent us his only beloved Son, Jesus Christ to save us and show us his mercy. Christ, who is one of us, and who atones for our sins on our behalf.. and who is compassionate and trustworthy… and empathises with our struggles and temptations, … Jesus shows us the fullness of what God is like – So its inconsistent with this vision to see our God as a scary, capricious, temperamental,  inconsistent or an unpleasant Being with whom we do not know where we stand or where we doubt that we have any chance to be saved….This is not God as revealed by Christ.

We "fear God" only in the original sense of that word...  of being in "Awe" of God's astounding greatness and goodness. And although we would never dare to act in such a way that we presume on God's forebearance, taking it for granted or using it as an excuse in advance of doing the wrong things… We are, nevertheless, right to trust and hope in humble, penitential, confidence.

Anna was said to be always in the temple, praying, hoping and watching… And Simeon is an upright, and godly man who longs for God's Kingdom. They are wonderful expressions of the hope-filled, faithful, prayerful and loyal disciples of God which we all strive to be…….. Simeon and Anna, were representative of the type of people who can be described as the "Quiet in the Land." (as in  Psalm 35: 20), - people who live peaceful, amiable and religious lives. These peaceful, gentle and hopeful people held no desires for a violent and terrible overthrowing of the nation's enemies,.. Nor did they long for a Warrior-like Messiah (a dreadful warrior King) arriving to bring down the enemy and subdue them with the force of armies with swords and banners; Rather, they believed in a life of constant prayer and quiet watchfulness until God should come and bring in his Kingdom of peace, justice, mercy and abundance.

All their lives they waited quietly, patiently and peacefully upon God. Simeon and Anna were like that; in prayer, in worship, in humble and faithful expectation, they were waiting for the day when God would arrive and comfort his people. One also gets the strong impression that they weren't just like wallflowers in the temple or in daily life. They were surely putting their faith and prayer into action...   engaging with people who visited on pilgrimage...  helping people out and listening to their troubles and praying with them and strengthening them.  Being so long in the temple Anna must have seen countless joys, sorrows, tragedies and victories of ordinary people's lives and shared with them in their laughter and in their tears. 

God had promised Simeon, through the Holy Spirit, that his life would not end before he had seen God's own Anointed King in the flesh. Finally, in his advanced old age, Simeon recognised that the baby Jesus, being presented in the Temple, by his loving mother Mary, and his faithful step-father Joseph, that this child was indeed 'coming home' in a sense that he was arriving in his Heavenly Father's House by arriving at the temple.  Simeon recognised that his was the long-hoped-for Messiah and King...  And Simeon was overjoyed! Now he was ready to depart in peace and his words have become another of the great and precious songs of praise taken up by generations of believers in the  Church…. "At last all powerful master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise.... for my eyes have seen the salvation of the Lord…."(%%) (Wonderful, beautiful… ) (%%)

We also see in the gospel…. Anna the widow. She has surely  known sorrow, tragedy and hardship in her long and humble life.  And yet she has never lost hope or joy. Anna… did not let difficulties, sorrows, pain or advancing age make her hard, bitter, resentful, or rebellious against God. But rather, Anna remained kind, positive, gentle,, sympathetic, hope-filled, prayerful… faith-filled - and very, very close to God…(%%) .

Anna.. spent her days in the temple…. Sees God as not distant and detached; but rather as intimately connected with her own life and all of our lives, with God having his hand on the helm.  She was delighted and happy to be a servant in God's house. (%%)

She never ceased to worship. She spent her life in God's house with God's people. God gave us his church to be our mother in the faith. We rob ourselves of a priceless treasure when we neglect to be one with his worshipping people regularly. (%%)

She never ceased to pray. Public worship is great; but private worship is also great. As someone once said, "They pray best together who first pray alone." (but two aspects are in fact inseparable .. private and public worship are essential. complimentary aspects of the same thing). The years had left Anna wise and with unshakable hope because day by day she kept her contact with him who is the source of strength and in whose strength our weakness is made perfect." %%



Fr Paul W. Kelly

(%%) - quoted from and adapted from Barclay, W. (1975). The Gospel of Luke. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press.

Shutterstock Licensed Image: ID: 1232605426.  Casorate Primo, Italy. 2017/12/8. A stained glass window depicting Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the church of San Vittore Martire. By Adam Jan Figel


Archive of homilies and reflections: http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au

To contact Fr. Paul, please email: paulwkelly68@gmail.com

To listen to my weeklyhomily audio podcast, please click thislink here.

NB - It is often aweek or so Ahead: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/tracks

You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul's homily mail-out by sending an email to this address: paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Further information relating to the audio productions linked to this Blog:

"Faith, Hope and Love,  - Christian worship and reflection"  - Led by Rev Paul Kelly

Prayers and chants  — Roman Missal, 3rd edition, © 2010, The International Commission on English in the liturgy. (ICEL)

Scriptures - New Revised Standard Version: © 1989,  and 2009 by the NCC-USA. (National Council of Churches of Christ - USA)

"The Psalms" ©1963, 2009,  The Grail - Collins publishers.

Prayers of the Faithful -   " Together we pray" by Robert Borg'.   E.J. Dwyer, Publishers, (1993) . (Sydney Australia).

{Sung "Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin" -  by Jeffrey M. Ostrowski. The ….Gloria,  copyright 2011
ccwatershed.org. }

"Faith, Hope and Love" theme hymn - in memory of  William John Kelly -     Inspired by  1 Corinthians 13:1-13. Music by Paul Kelly. Arranged, with additional lyrics and sung by Stefan Kelk. 2019.

"Today I Arise" - For Patricia Kelly.  By Paul W. Kelly.. Inspired by St Patrick's Prayer.  Arranged, with additional lyrics and sung by Stefan Kelk. 2019.

[ Production -  KER 2020 ]

May God bless and keep you.


The Presentation of the Lord

(Sunday, February 2, 2020)

(EPISODE: 204)

The Lord be with you.


{{May Our Lord's gift of hope encourage you.}}

My friends in Christ, to worthily celebrate the sacred mysteries, let us first acknowledge our sins.?

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father: Lord, have mercy//You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth: Christ, have mercy//You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life: Lord, have mercy.//

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


Memorial Acclamation

3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.


The Mystery of the Presentation of the Lord

Eucharistic Prayer II

Communion side. pwk: LH


{Thanks everyone, and have a grace-filled and compassion-filled week.}

Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.

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