Friday, February 1, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

Daily Readings:
Mal 3:1-4; Ps 24:7, 8, 9, 10; Heb 2:14-18; Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32

Reflection:  In today’s Gospel reading Mary and Joseph present the baby Jesus to God in the temple.  In the temple, they encounter Simeon, who God promised would see the Christ before he died.  And Simeon’s response is remarkable:  “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace… for my eyes have seen your salvation.”  Simeon’s response upon finding Christ is an immediate joy, trust in God, and willingness to give up his life to better things (heaven).  In our human nature and our attachment to the people and things of this world, we can look at death with great fear.  Simeon’s response reminds us that only through death can we experience the remarkable joy of heaven and an eternity with our Lord.  When God calls us from this world we will be blessed with the opportunity to join Him for eternity in heaven.

Big Picture:  Find joy in finding our Lord

Discussion Starters:
     Younger saints:
  When people who know and love God die, where do they go?  (Heaven.)  Is heaven a scary place, or is it filled with joy because we spend our days with God?  (Heaven is an amazing place that is filled with great joy that we can’t even understand right now.  We will spend all of eternity sitting before God, which will make us happier than anything else ever could.)
     Older saints:  When Simeon found Christ in his life he was immediately filled with great joy.  What is your response to Christ’s presence in your life?  Reflect on your own fears regarding death and leaving this world one day in order to join Christ in heaven.  What are you most fearful of for yourself or for your loved ones?

Fun Fact:  The word “catechumen” refers to a person who is preparing for baptism.  Baptism is our entrance into God’s Church.

Saint of the day: 
 St. Joan of Lestonnac
     What they are remembered for:  St. Joan was married at the age of 17 and had four children before her husband died suddenly.  After her children were grown she entered the monastery, but was later asked to leave due to health issues.  She returned to her hometown of Bordeaux, France and started the Congregation of the Religious of Notre Dame of Bordeaux. 
     Feast day:  February 2
     Patron saint of:  abuse victims, people rejected by religious orders, widows

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