1 John 2:12-17
In today’s gospel reading from Luke, we read about a certain prophetess named Anna. She came upon the presentation of Jesus in the temple. She gave thanks to God and then began to talk about the child "to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem." Deliverance for whom? Deliverance from what? For those answers we have to read the rest of the gospel.
Fast-forward two thousand years. That gospel continues to be realized among us. Jesus comes now for our deliverance. Deliverance from what?
He comes to deliver us from our sins, by his gift of forgiveness. He comes to deliver us from our self-doubt, by assuring us we are beloved of His Father. He comes to deliver us from our fear of death, for he comes as the one who died and rose. He comes to deliver us from our confusion, by showing us how to live. He comes to deliver us from our sadness by the joy of his presence. Finally, he comes to deliver us from prejudice, hatred, greed and all that divides us, so that all may be one and there may be peace on this earth.
But first we have to unite ourselves with him in the temple of our hearts and present ourselves to the Father. "Into your hands, Father, we commend our spirit." Then our hearts will grow and our wills will be strengthened. We will be filled with wisdom, and the grace of God will be upon us.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/