Merry Christmas, everyone!
I have always loved this Sunday following Christmas Day. While, to some, it might seem to be a minor feast in light of the great Solemnity which we have just celebrated, the very fact that it is called “Holy Family,” especially while some families are still gathered together from far and near, underscores the beauty of relationships that are rooted in “blood” and also those established in the Blood of Christ. I hope that this day finds you surrounded not only with those you love with whom you are related, but also surrounded by those whom you love which you have chosen!
The story of the Presentation of the Lord (Luke 2:22-40) found in today’s Gospel illustrates the importance of relationships of both bloodlines and chosen relationships. The very presence of Anna and Simeon is recognition of the giftedness of elder-eyes and dreams; their participation is also a reminder of the broader “chosen” families to which we all belong. Simeon, who was promised that he would see the “Anointed of the Lord,” gives voice to the recognition of both who and what the child of this Holy Family will become, “For my own eyes have witnessed your saving deed displayed for all the peoples to see: A revealing light to the Gentiles, the glory of your people Israel.” In light of the Gospel, we pray:
Almighty ever-living God, splendor of faithful souls, graciously be pleased to fill the world with your glory, and show yourself to all peoples by the radiance of your light!
May these days of Christmas renew the bonds of love in your own family! May they bring about whatever reconciliation that is necessary, and may they bring you the Lord’s peace!