Homily for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
In our Gospel reading for today, we have the full account of the Presentation of the Lord from the Gospel of Luke. It includes the Canticle of Simeon, Simeon’s prayer of thanksgiving to God for allowing him to see the Messiah. Remember, it had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he saw the Christ, the one who would redeem Israel. Simeon knows that Jesus is the one of whom it was prophesied and so he gives testimony to that truth, he gives witness.
The Gospel also includes the details about Anna’s encounter with the Christ child. It is through that encounter that she is then compelled to go out and become one of the first evangelizers as well; she, too, goes out to give witness. She goes to share the Good News that the Messiah was here and that a holy day had dawned upon the people of Israel…finally…after waiting for so long.
In a particular way, the Solemnity of the Presentation of the Lord represents an invitation for us to do the same. We are being reminded of how Christ is the light that was sent to reveal to the nations God’s saving power. We are being reminded of how Christ is the One who secures our salvation. It is an invitation for us to take all that we have experienced with Christ and to take that out into the world, to share it with others and hopefully bring them to an encounter with the Lord.
All of us are called to become instruments that the Holy Spirit uses to make Christ known to others. Sometimes we might find ourselves wondering why God would rely on us to carry out that task. We might think that we’re too simple or we’re too big of sinners to be able to accomplish that mission. What our Gospel teaches us though is that the Holy Spirit employs ordinary men and women with simple faith as His instruments to bear witness to Christ, just as He used Simeon and Anna.
The Holy Spirit reveals the presence of the Lord to us when we are receptive and eager to receive Him. Are we willing to be open? Are we willing to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to recognize the indwelling presence of the Lord within us and to call others to experience the same? The Holy Spirit desires to use us to make the light of Christ visible to those we encounter. How will we respond to that invitation today?