A HOMILY FOR THE FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD – 2/2/20 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
We are so spoiled. Man, today we can get things delivered to our door, almost as soon as we want it, or order it. Have you seen the commercials for Amazon 2-hour delivery of groceries? Two hours! You can barely run to Kroger, down the street, get in, get what you want, get checked out, and get home, in two hours. And they haven’t even started using the drones yet! Expedited delivery, one-day delivery, two-day delivery. You can have what you want almost as soon as you want it. Amazon, Walmart, E-Bay, Grubhub, and so many others, are all about getting you what you want as soon as possible. There’s no waiting. There’s no, I’ve ordered this, and now I’m going to get to look forward to its arrival. There’s no expectation.
When I was a kid, whenever you ordered anything, whether it be from the back of a cereal box, or from an ad in Boy’s Life, the order form clearly said, “Please wait Six to Eight weeks for delivery. It was always six to eight weeks! Always! Didn’t matter if what you were ordering was coming from Indianapolis, or Hong Kong, it was still going to take “six to eight weeks”. How could that be? And if you ask any of us who grew up at that time, it was NEVER six weeks. At six weeks, I’d start camping out by the mailbox. It’s six weeks, my order must be coming today. No. No. It never came at six weeks. The order always came on the last day of the eighth week. By that time, I would have built a little hut by the mailbox. No, we’re spoiled today. We don’t wait six to eight weeks for anything. Unless you’re on the phone, trying to get an answer about your insurance, talking to someone named “Elana” who lives in the Dominican Republic. Then you might have to wait “six to eight weeks”.
Today, on this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we hear the story of two people who waited a lot longer than six to eight weeks. Simeon and Anna were both older. They were both very faithful people. God loved both Simeon and Anna very much. In fact, God loved them both so much, that the Holy Spirit had promised them that they would see God’s promises fulfilled in their lifetimes. And so, every day, Simeon and Anna went to that Temple. They weren’t quite sure what they were going to see, or what was going to happen, but they were both confident enough in their faith to know that the Holy Spirit would reveal to them what God was doing. All they had to do was persevere. And keep going to that Temple. And keep their eyes open for what God was about to do.
And then, in walked Joseph and Mary with the child, Jesus. And as Simeon says, “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all the people.” This child was the answer! This child was what Simeon and Anna had been waiting for, all their lives! Can you imagine the hope and joy and fulfilled expectation that happened in the Temple that day! Simeon and Anna waited for the Lord, and He did NOT disappoint! Instead, there He was, in their arms, as a small child. It was worth every minute of the wait! And it was a lot more than six to eight weeks!
So that brings us, well, to us, in 2020. Today, we, like Simeon and Anna are also asked to wait for Jesus’ return. We’ve been waiting for a while also. But just like Simeon and Anna, we too are asked to persevere, to stay alert, and to keep watching for God in our world. God is all around us. All we have to do, is open our eyes and pay attention! What if Simeon and Anna were day-dreaming in the Temple that day? They could have missed the promised Messiah! What if they had been looking at their phones or texting in the Temple, instead of listening to the homily, maybe they never would have noticed Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! What if Simeon and Anna had gone to the restroom at the exact moment that Joseph and Mary brought Jesus in? This whole encounter may not have ever happened!
Sometimes, for this Faith thing to work, we’ve got to be present. And we’ve got to be paying attention. And we’ve got to put our phone down or shut it off. And we do have to persevere! In a world where it gets harder and harder for us to wait and be patient, our God is asking us to be patient, and to wait, and most specially to trust and have faith, that what He has planned for us, is going to be well-worth the wait. We must, like Simeon and Anna, must persevere. We can’t give up. Not when Heaven is on the line.
You know, when you’re a kid, six to eight weeks can seem like an eternity. It also seems like an eternity when you have a boot on your foot. But in reality, six to eight weeks is not so long. May we all be more patient, like Simeon and Anna. And may our patience and perseverance pay off, just as it did for them!
+ May God bless us on this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord…. Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us!!!