The Gospel according to Luke (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.
Reflection: I am one of the most patient people I know. Ask anyone. Except my wife. And my children. And my grandchildren. Never mind! Patience is a virtue. We need patience for many things including, especially prayer.
In today’s gospel we are in the presence of the quintessential model for patience in prayer, Anna. Doing a little math, we realize that Anna prayed for a V E R Y L O O O O O N G time. So, what are we to take away from this? I think we should all consider how we can monitor our expectations and be more patient with our God who knows better that we do what is best for us. He has already provided everything we need to succeed and became one of us so we could reach out and embrace heaven from earth. Our job is not to do but to be. We do not accomplish, we participate. All that is required of us is to respond to love with love. In Matthew’s gospel we are told the whole law and the prophets depend on the two commandments, to love God and neighbor. When we come from this place, God’s fingerprints will be everywhere. With the patience of Job, Anna, and Simeon let us revel in the love of our Father and follow the Son of God, Emmanuel.
Action of the Day: Pray for patience but don’t expect more patience. God will probably send you more opportunities to work on this valuable virtue. God knows what we need!