Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 203

1st Reading – 1 JN 2:12-17

I am writing to you, children,
because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake.

I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the Evil One.

I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 96:7-8A, 8B-9, 10

R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Bring gifts, and enter his courts;
worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A holy day has dawned upon us.
Come, you nations, and adore the Lord.
Today a great light has come upon the earth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – LK 2:36-40

There was a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of 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.

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Prophetess Anna

There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38

Today, the sixth day of the Octave of Christmas, we honor the prophetess Anna. She, like Simeon whom we honored yesterday, spent her days in the temple worshipping God day and night. She anticipated the coming Messiah and, by a personal and special revelation from God, recognized His presence as He was presented by Mary and Joseph.

How did Anna know that this was the Messiah? How did she know that this little Child was the one whom all were awaiting? Somehow she knew and she rejoiced in this knowledge.

What’s beautiful about Anna’s response is that she did not keep her joy to herself. Rather, when she saw the Christ Child, she “spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.” There is little doubt that her prophetic words were filled with joy and were also quite authoritative. She would have spoken as one who knew the truth of this Child and as one who eagerly wanted to tell everyone about Him.

There is a great lesson for each one of us in Anna’s encounter with Jesus. When You encounter our Lord in your life of faith and prayer, do you then eagerly desire to share your faith with others? Perhaps it is by your words, but perhaps it’s more often by your witness.

The bottom line is that the true meaning of Christmas must be shared. It must be proclaimed far and wide so that all will understand the joy of the coming of the Savior of the World.

Reflect, today, upon Anna the prophetess. Try to imagine the joy in her heart as she spoke of this newborn King. And pray that her joy and prophetic example will inspire you to continually proclaim the Lord to all whom God puts in your path.

Lord, may I always remember the reason for Christmas. May I always keep the joy of Your coming among us at the center of my celebration. You, dear Lord, are the greatest Gift ever given. I thank You for Your life and I pray that You will help me to share the Gift of Yourself with others. Jesus, I trust in You.

Daily Catholic Readings App Download