Simeon the Groundhog – Good News for February 2

2 02 2010

Luke 2:22-32

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.

He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The Daily Path: Today, the Roman Catholic Church and others, celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Luke describes the historical event in the life of Jesus in today’s reading. February 2 is also the celebration of Groundhog Day in Canada and the U.S. According to this oral tradition, if a groundhog emerges from his burrow and fails to see its shadow it will leave the burrow thus signaling that winter will end soon. However, if the little creature sees its shadow, back in the burrow it goes for more slumber and six additional weeks of winter.

What do these two celebrations have in common? Nothing. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

Just kidding!

Actually there is some common ground between the two. After a long winter’s nap our rodent friend, Punxsutawney Phil, pops out of his hole and sees not shadow, but light. The big woodchuck is so delighted to be rid of the cold and winter darkness (renewal) that he emerges ready to begin to living again.

Now Simeon, who had been hanging around this earth for a very long time, was also waiting for the end of winter. He’d been living in the darkness waiting patiently to see, as God promised, the light of salvation. The Christ. When Mary and Joseph finally bring Jesus to the temple for the rite of purification, Simeon is released from the burrow of this life to go and bask in the eternal light of the Father in heaven.

Who’d have thought Phil and Simeon had something in common?





Do You Believe In Miracles? – Good News for February 2

2 02 2009

Luke 2:22-32

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The Daily Path: Yesterday, two parents followed the tradition of Mary and Joseph by presenting their children to the Lord. My wife Anne and I joined so many other parents who have asked God to welcome His children and hold them close through Baptism.

On this Feast of the Presentation, I want to thank God for making that possible. As recently as a year ago, I couldn’t have seen this day being so close. I’m grateful to all those who prayed that these children, and their parents, would set out on the path to God. Especially my own parents who presented me so many years ago and never stopped praying that I would return. And to all who have gone out of their way to welcome our family into the Catholic community and stand by us, I send my sincere and  heartfelt thanks. 

February 1, 2009 was the day that an entire family came together and was presented to the Lord. Do you believe in miracles?

Room to Chat: Find an opening in your day to let God talk to you. All He needs is the tiniest crack. Seconds you won’t miss, and can’t afford to miss.





Good Coming To A Theater Near You – Good News for December 28

28 12 2008

Luke 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, They took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord”,  and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit  that he should not see death  before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus  to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;  and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,  “Behold, this child is destined  for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted  —and you yourself a sword will pierce—  so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna,  the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,  and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple,  but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time,  she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child  to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;  and the favor of God was upon him.

The Daily Path: Over the past two days I’ve spent an unusual amount of time in couch potato mode while dealing with a virus that Santa delivered in my stocking. In that time I’ve done the only two things I’m capable of at the moment, sleep and watch television. I couldn’t help but notice one ad for a film titled The Unborn. The movie has something to do with evil trying to take hold of someone. This ad, with its graphic images of evil at work, plays over and over… usually the sign of a bad movie.

What struck me was this: Why is the onslaught of evil so often glorified? Why can’t Good News be a screenplay worthy of Hollywood’s millions and its mighty marketing machine? Why can’t the audience of evil change its taste?