Daily Gospel Reflection – The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
December 30, 2021
The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Gospel: Lk 2:36-40
There was 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.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today’s Gospel concludes Luke’s account of the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple.
The sins of the nation had, according to the prophet Ezekiel, caused the glory of the Lord to depart from the temple. And when Joseph and Mary bring the infant Jesus into the temple, we are meant to understand that the prophecy of Ezekiel is being fulfilled.
At the climax of his life, this baby, now come of age, would enter the temple again. This time, he would pass judgment on it and declare his own body as the new temple. A few days later, on the cross, he would perform the final temple sacrifice, offering himself to the Father, even as he bore the sins of the human race. In this great act of temple worship, he would bring all of his human brothers and sisters, down through the ages, back online with him.
The presentation of Jesus in the temple, perfected on the cross, is re-presented every time the Mass is celebrated. The Mass involves the offering of Jesus’ Body and Blood to the Father. The presentation of the Lord goes on now in our churches, in our temples.