••Sirach 3:2-6 •• Psalm 105 •• Hebrews 11:8, 11-12, 17-19 •• + Luke 2:22-40 ••
Title: “Do we get what we deserve? Holy Family Sunday”
[__01__] Walking home from school one afternoon, I was asked this question: why are you walking? Where is your bicycle?
I had been hoping to avoid this question because the last time I saw my bicycle it was unlocked outside of school.
You got what you deserved. You left your bicycle – unlocked ??!!?? There was no hue and cry about crime rates or injustice.
I simply got what I deserved, logical, like a scientific proof.
The immediate consequence was that there would be more walking, still some cardio (cardiovascular exercise), but slower from home to school.
I valued the bicycle and was now missing it.
[__02__] It is Holy Family Sunday. We read in this Gospel about Simeon and Anna, the prophet and prophetesses of the Temple. Both of them discover the newborn Messiah, Jesus, whom they see being brought to the Temple by Joseph and Mary.
Simeon’s words form part of our traditional Catholic night prayer, a late evening reflection where we also naturally ask together with prayer with our Savior – what happened today? We may also, at times, ask – did I get what I deserved?
Simeon is rejoicing because his prayers are answered.
[__03__] This prayer was answered but it took quite a while. Perhaps, Simeon had been disappointed with other Messiah candidates. Yet, he persisted in prayer.
He know that he was missing something in his life – he persisted in prayer, persisted in asking, seeking, knocking.
[__04__] We also see in Simeon that his prayer is not only for the SOLUTIONS. Rather, Simeon is seeking a SAVIOR, and a PERSON. It is a reminder that Jesus comes to us personally.
In our relationship and conversation with him – in prayer – we discover answers, we gain insight, we gain imagination and compassion.
In our conversation – we may not gain the ANSWERS or INSIGHT or WISDOM we expected. You and I are called to talk this out – in prayer with Jesus.
Is there not an analog (not a perfect digital replication ..just an analog) in our relationships with others?
That is, we talk things out with to others – we disclose ourselves to others – so that we are able not only to examine the other person – but also to examine ourselves.
We want to understand not only what are missing but what we truly value.
Was Simeon, from the outset, expecting a Messiah who would be an infant? Perhaps, not always. But, after years of prayer, he came to this realization. He had come to realize not only what he was missing – what he deserved – but what he truly valued.
[__05__] This is Holy Family Sunday and we recall that it is in and through our families that we not only ANSWERS but QUESTIONS.
We gain not only COMFORT and CONVENIENCE but also we have a place to share our SUFFERING and DIFFICULTY and what we are missing.
From my own parents and family, I am grateful they taught me about friendship and love and that friendship begins not with ANSWERS, but with QUESTIONS.
[__06__] Through the silent partnership and gift of my grandparents, the bike was replaced several months later.
The Holy Family also reminds us that we experience Christ together – in moments of forgiveness and of crisis – and that he gives us more than we deserve.
Jesus Christ is our true and greatest value. [__fin__]