Monday, February 2, 2009

Feast of the Presentation

Today is the Feast of the Presentation and in recent years, I've really come to love this feast.

There is sooo much depth to this Joyful mystery that I probably won't even be able to skim the surface of it. I hope to reflect on it more later this day, this week.

This account of our Lord's Presentation sums up so much of what I've been praying about since this summer, it seems. It all goes back to TRUST and CONFIDENCE in the Lord. And also that the Lord is loving and humble, and loves us just as we are.

The Presentation reminds us of what we remembered at Christmas, that God became human because He loves us! It makes me think of Phil. 2: 6 which I know I've mentioned more than once already on this blog, but I can never get enough:

"Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. "

As humans I think that we think the opposite, or that we can somehow grasp God. We try to contort our brains to wrap our heads around God in kind of a "How does He do it?!?" magician-kind of way. And while it's true, God could put on a good show if He wanted, He will never reveal all of His tricks ;) (not that He's trying to trick us! Maybe magician analogy isn't the best...all I end up is thinking of is G.O.B from Arrested Development anyways: "Illusions, Michael...." ha! I'll stop there!)

Nor can we be like God, though our culture likes to tell us that we can. It's like the serpant and the forbidden fruit- we are tempted to try and play God in certain realms. But I love the Church because faith and reason go together for us. We can use our intelligence to come to certain conclusions, but leave the rest up to God because He wants it that way!

(side note- I recently started re-reading JP2's 'Fides et Ratio' on 'Faith and Reason'. The man was totally guided by the Spirit but also just really intelligent. I wish more people could see this part of the Church and read all that's out there! Unfortunately, JP2 is also kind of hard to read, but there are becoming more resources that break down his encyclicals. For JP2's list of encyclicals click here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/index.htm)

Yesterday's Gospel- (yikes! I'm realizing how convuluded this blog is becoming! My brain wants to spit out all it's thinking this week! Bear with me)- was from Mark and is one of the Gospel's "Messianic Secret" accounts. I loved learning about the Gospel of Mark in postulancy because Mark is so full of sassiness and symbols! He shows a sassy Jesus that I can relate to! :) So the Messianic Secret, essentially, is that throughout Mark's Gospel, Jesus is shown not wanting people to know that he is the Messiah right away. He yells at the apostles and, yesterday the unclean spirit, to 'Shut up!' and not reveal- yet- that he is the Messiah.

That is a whole 'nother blog in and of itself. But the priest yesterday talked about Jesus' authoritativeness and the amazement of the crowd at his miracle of casting out the unclean spirit. The priest challenged us to look at our issues of authority and also ask ourselves, 'when was the last time we were AMAZED by God?"

Good questions! Because this is a problem in our culture- we don't like authority, but we know we need it (ooo...I'm sensing a whole new blog idea on authority....for another time :). And, secondly, the priest pointed out, we don't recognize nearly enough how AMAZING God is!! When was the last time we were amazed by God, indeed! In the Mass?? In our daily routine?

End of tangent. Back to today's feast (though that all kind of fits, as usual :)

God humbles Himself to be like us, and we are reminded of this as we see Jesus being presented in the Temple through Jewish ritual. God sets the example for us....if He needed ritual, certainly we do as well! Which is a case for Sacraments and the Mass, no doubt, lest we ever 'question' authority on that! Sure ritual is monitored by authority, but it is meant for AMAZEMENT! (okay, so maybe my tangent wasn't finished after all. I think it is safe to say it is over now :)

Moving on- I also love the second half of this Gospel- that Simeon and Anna get to be present. Random, holy people, with no real relation to the Holy Family. But God chose them to be there to fulfill His promises to them. Ordinary people getting to witness God made man, God keeping His promises.

So ALL this to say, this feast made me reflect- as I continue to reflect on trust and confidence in God- hasn't He ALWAYS kept His promises to me in one way or another, like He kept them for Simeon and Anna? Even though they were growing old and had to wait longer than maybe they would've liked, God kept His promise to reveal Himself to them- and what a way to do it! Amazing! (though we can certainly always hope He works a little bit quicker for us ;) The beauty is God knows each of us and knows what we need).

This also gives me the HOPE that I've blogged about! That God is a faithful God, who understands us and keeps His promises.

So Trust, Confidence, HOPE continue to be themes for me to share with you :)

I hope they are helpful :) May we continue to be challenged and amazed by God's love for us.

Peace,
Julia

2 comments:

The Swandas said...

Amen! Love your reflections... you continue to inspire me to hope and trust.

You have challenged me to recognize all the AMAZING things God does in our lives. ;)

The Swandas said...

Amen! Love your reflections... you continue to inspire me to hope and trust.

You have challenged me to recognize all the AMAZING things God does in our lives. ;)