Thursday, December 30, 2021
Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Readings for Today
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.
Featured image above: Presentation of Christ at the Temple By Giotto di Bondone, via Wikimedia Commons
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