The Presentation of the Lord

The Presentation of the Lord
2020 – Cycle A
Malachi 3:1-4; Psalm 24; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40

A young couple,
first – time parents,
a new beginning filled with unanswered questions.

Do you remember what it was like?  Is being a new family where you are in life now?

A senior couple,
widowed, waiting,
facing the completion of life – often with unanswered questions.

What is it like for those of you facing life’s conclusion – death? 
            Or are you just on the cusp of entering this stage in life? 

Both couples have limited resources.
A widowed woman having no means of support. The young couple being able to afford only a pair of turtle doves rather than a lamb to redeem back their child from God because they are poor. What happen to all that gold left to this young couple by magi?

Both couples are weary and tired;
one from age and infirmity; the other from worry and the daily struggle of making ends meet.

Both couples, married and widowed, elderly and youthful, are attune to God’s presence in their lives; whether through angels, fulfilling the Law of the Lord or revealed by the Spirit.

In what phase of life do you find yourself?

Are you and I attuned to the presence of God in our daily lives?  – in whatever manner God may be made present.

Do we keep faith, that is, do we trust God?
Do we hope in God throughout our life?

Today two generations encounter each other in the Temple; an encounter which includes blessings and ominous pronouncements.

A thanksgiving for an approaching death – to be embraced as if by an old friend, mingled with a new hope for the future that only a new born child can make present.  A future that will include rejection and acceptance, contradiction and pain, and a personal price to be paid.

People have always and will continue to reject as well as accept Jesus.  The cross, this sign of contradiction, has always and will continue to be misused and misunderstood as well as being a sign of hope and salvation.  There will always be a price to pay– a piercing sword – as a lance pierced Jesus’ heart.

The encounter is a bit confusing and amazing.  This Christmas story compels us to grapple with many contemporary questions.

How do we as a church and nation treat and care for various generations in our midst?  – especially the most vulnerable among us: children, youth and elderly.

We continue to struggle over the issue of when human life begins and therefore, abortion.  The issue of physician assisted suicide is making headway in our New York State Legislature.  The beginnings and conclusions of human life are filled with unanswered and complex questions.

If Jesus were born today, to teen parents into America urban poverty, would his family be any better off than in another empire 2,000 years ago?

How do we deal with the rise of suicide among senior citizens and teens?

Will we rise up and answer the call to make sure all mothers and fathers have generous paternity and maternity leaves and adequate family health care; be freed from food insecurity and be provided with a solid education for their children?

When we consider the abundance within our nation, do Christians of means have a greater obligation to the poor?

Two generations encounter each other.

Two generations, from different perspectives, have the gift of hope to offer each other as they raise for us questions of the common good, of the depth of our spiritual life, of our openness to the movements of the Holy Spirit and challenge our lived faith.

Do we today listen to the wisdom and experience of our seniors? …to the creativity and enthusiasm of our youth?

If not, we may be doing so at our own peril for they are the bearers of hope!

“…for my eyes have seen your salvation…”.

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