My Beloved the benevolent February 2020
Grace and Peace wishing you every goodness and blessings
We celebrated on the 16th of February the Presentation of the Lord Christ in the Temple, as St. Luke mentions, “Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) Lu. 2:22-23 St. Mary who is all pure and holy submitted to the law of purification according to the law of Moses, and the holy family submitted to present the first born to the Lord. This is the mystery of the incarnation, to present the Lord to the Lord!! The mystery of emptying oneself, the mystery of humility!
In the Temple, they met Simeon the Elder, and Anna the daughter of Phanuel.
- Simeon the Elder: The Holy Spirit revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ – that he would not see death before he would see the Son of the Virgin that was prophesied by Isiah the prophet, “Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, ‘God with us” Matt.1:23, Is.7:14 Simeon the Elder lived awaiting for this day; thus, his going to the Temple on that day was inspired by the Holy Spirit, for it said, “He came by the spirit into the temple” Lu. 2:27 Simeon carried the child in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Lu. 2:29-32 Simeon received a great blessing as a result of his faith, patience, and trust in God’s promise to see the Lord Christ, “And so, after he patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Heb. 6:15 We need faith, patience and long suffering in our spiritual strife in order to obtain the promise that St. Paul the apostle expressed, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”Gal.2:20 A person who is benevolent does good deeds with perseverance, long suffering and strong faith, that God can manifest Himself in each needy and suffering person. Christ our Lord promised and His promise is true to the benevolent saying, “And the king will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matt.25:40 Many saints received this promise, like St. Pishoy who was worthy to carry Jesus Christ and wash His feet because he loved doing good deeds and persevered in helping the needy with strong faith; what he does to a needy person, he truly is doing it to Christ Himself.
- Anna the daughter of Phanuel: this is an amazing person; she was a prophetess in the Old Testament when there were prophets and prophetesses, and she was a woman of old age. She got married and lived with her husband for seven years, and became a widow at a young age. She then dedicated herself to a life of consecration, service and worship in the temple for 84 years “and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day.” Lu. 2:37 Being a widow did not destroy her in her young age, but with faith, perseverance and longsuffering, she remained worshiping God with prayers and fasting in the Temple day and night for 84 years; so, she obtained the great blessing – to see Christ the Lord and stand at the hour of presenting Christ to the Temple, “And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Lu. 2:38)
The Lord said in the Book of Revelation, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” Rev.3:20 The Lord knocked at the heart of Simeon the Elder and Anna the daughter of Phanuel; they opened the door and the Lord entered and they became worthy to see the Christ the Lord.
The Lord knocks at everyone’s heart in different ways. We can discern the voice of the Lord at the door and hurry to open the door, or we can be like the bride in the Song of Solomon, “I opened for my beloved, But my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer” Sol.5:6 God knocks at our hearts to care for our brethren the needy; are we going to open to meet Him through every person that is in need and suffering, or will Lazarus the poor be lying in front of us and not do anything?
May the Lord bless your offering to support Santa Verena Charity programs through which we open to God joyfully to meet Him in the person of His needy brethren.