Follow the Light

February 2, 2020 | N W | Faith, Father Salvador, Light, Mary, Prayer, St. Joseph, Trust

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
February 2, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Mal 3:1-4 / Ps 24 / Heb 2:14-18 / Lk 2:22-40
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

A story is told about an elderly woman in frail health. One day she expressed to her doctor the hope that she would have the strength to live just a few more months so that she could celebrate the birth of her first grandchild.

Sure enough, the day came and the woman was well enough to hold the little child in her arms. The woman returned to her doctor, who was amazed when he heard about this good news. He suggested that it would be important for her to set a new goal, so that she had something to look forward to; something to keep her going.

“Well,” the woman pondered, “My son did just buy me a new refrigerator with a 10-year warranty.”

Now today, as we celebrate the Feast Day of the Presentation, St. Luke’s gospel introduces us to a couple of biblical characters who have been waiting for a long time for God’s promise to be fulfilled. When they finally saw the child Jesus, Simeon and Anna announced to everyone that He was the fulfillment of God’s promise to humanity. Taking the baby Jesus into his arms, Simeon proclaims that “This child is a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory for Your (God’s) people.”

Every time we pray the Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary, we reflect upon the meaning of today’s Feast of the Presentation, the day when the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph presented the child Jesus in the temple, in fulfillment of the law.

A couple of years ago when Fr. Stan Fortuna was giving a parish mission presentation in our sister church, Resurrection, the first thing he did was to look for the red light. In every Catholic church, the red light, or lamp, is the sign that the Blessed Sacrament is present. That’s why Fr. Stan emphasized that we should always follow the red light because it will take us to the Lord Jesus, the Light of the World. Last Sunday’s gospel reminded us once again, in a quote from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, that “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”

Not too long ago, a television commercial started with a line which I thought was biblical in origin. It said, “America has seen the light…,” but then it added, “and there is a Bud before it.” It was, of course, a Bud Light commercial.

The reality is that, since the vast majority of the US population are professed Christians, we could say that America has, indeed, seen the light of the world through the eyes of faith. When we received the Sacrament of Baptism, the light of Christ was given to us, and the good news is that it doesn’t just have a 10-year warranty, or a life-time warranty – it has an eternal warranty. But we have to keep the light of our faith burning by constant prayer, by reading or listening to God’s words, receiving the Sacraments, and living the teachings of the sacred scriptures.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. If, during the last few seconds of the game later tonight we hear the words “Hail Mary” from the sports commentators, that would be a good thing: It makes the game more exciting. But in real life, for us Christians, Hail Mary should not only be the last resort; it should be the first. We pray not only when we find ourselves in almost impossible situations, but every single moment of our lives.

As we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation today, let us ask for the intercession of the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph, that as we continue our journey in this world, we may always follow the light, the sun/Son that never sets, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.