Anticipation and Expectation

Reflection for the Presentation of the Lord at the Temple by FAN Board Member, Sr. Margaret Magee, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our January 27th newsletter


This weekend’s celebration of the feast of the Presentation of Christ in the temple is an opportunity to once again grasp with wonder, God’s desire to be revealed and known in our lives and in our world. What gifts we have in Simeon and Anna, the prophet and prophetess. They were people of patient prayerful endurance, tremendous insight and vision. They were people of deep and abiding faith, fasting and prayer. They lived with anticipation and the expectation that God’s promise of a Messiah would be revealed. They lived with the hope of encounter.

At that time, many in Israel also awaited the coming of the Messiah. However, many awaited a King, strong and mighty who would bring justice to the land and freedom from the oppression and captivity of the Romans. Simeon and Anna, imbued with the ancient texts and scriptures like the writing of the Prophet Malachi, held a different sense of expectancy. “I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.” Their depth of prayerful insight, opened and widened their imagination and perception to recognize and encounter the holy messenger of God in the infant son presented by the humble and poor parents, Mary and Joseph. This infant, born of our very flesh and blood, would bring salvation and redemption to the people.

In our Eucharistic prayer we proclaim, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” How do we live in anticipation and expectation of the promise of Christ’s coming once again? What is our hope and understanding of encounter?

Pope Francis, in his message on the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees on September 29, 2019, warned that when fears and doubts “condition our way of thinking and acting to the point of making us intolerant, closed and perhaps even—racist”—there is a serious problem. For “in this way, fear deprives us of the desire and the ability to encounter the other, the person different from myself; it deprives me of an opportunity to encounter the Lord.” The pope made it clear that this message is not simply about migrants. Rather, it is a call to build up the city of God and open spaces of welcome, support and community in our own neighborhoods and cities. May we create spaces and places where we encounter our brothers and sisters in the smallest and the least, in the poor and the marginalized. May we live with the anticipation and expectation of recognizing Christ in our midst and be the prophetic witnesses needed in our world today.

Sr. Margaret Magee, OSF
FAN Member of the Board

Published in: on January 28, 2020 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  

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