Homily for February 2

Image source

Homily for the Feast of the Presentation
Scriptures for today's Mass

• Jesus is the light of the world…
We might all be better off if we paid  a little more attention
to the people Jesus pays attention to,
the very people for whom Jesus came to be the light in their darkness.
And who are they?

• Even a quick look at the bible reveals that Jesus came for
-the poor, the sick, the widowed, for children;     
for the outcast and the marginalized.
And Jesus came for everyday laborers
like shepherds, farmers and fishermen.
And Jesus came for people of other faiths, not his own,
and people of no faith,
and people of little faith and people of weak faith.
And Jesus came for sinners…

• Jesus came for simple, regular every day folks
like Simeon and Anna in this gospel story.
And we need to pay attention to Simeon and Anna and who they were
- and who they weren’t!
Simeon and Anna were “temple people.”
Today, we’d call them “church people.”
And you know what? YOU folks are today’s church people
-which isn’t to say you’re all holy and perfect,
or even that you come to church every week,
- it just means that you came to church today, that you’re here today!

• Mary and Joseph had brought the infant Jesus, just 40 days old,
to present him to God in the temple.
St. Luke in his gospel is making a point here.
He’s telling us:
Here’s the newborn Prince of Peace, the Son of God,
the Word made flesh
and Joseph and Mary are bringing him to temple for the first time,
to present the Lord Jesus to God!

But there are no trumpets.
There is no welcoming committee.
The chief priests and temple dignitaries are nowhere to be found.
Who’s there to welcome Jesus, the Anointed One, the Messiah?
Just Simeon and Anna,
a man and a woman who came to temple to pray,
just as you’ve come to church to pray today.

• Jesus, who was born in a stable,
whose first visitors were the local shepherds,
Jesus, the Son of God, is welcomed to the temple of God
by two unknowns, not unlike most of us here today.
Jesus came for precisely the most ordinary of folks
and he’s coming to the same people today.

• Jesus comes for, Jesus pays attention to,
- people of all faiths, people of no faith,
people of weak faith.

• Jesus comes for people who seldom pray,
for people who don’t know how to pray,
people who don’t know if they believe in prayer,

• Jesus comes for people whose prayer is awkward, embarrassed
and filled with distractions.

• Jesus comes for people who most people don’t pay attention to:
he came for those who live in the margins, on the edge,
for people who are outcast, ignored and forgotten,

• He comes for people who aren’t sure how to relate to other people
and for people who aren’t sure how to relate to God
and for people who aren’t even sure how to relate to themselves.

• Jesus comes for the sick and the dying,
for the grieving and the depressed,
for the anxious and the fearful,
for the heart broken and for the heartless.
And he comes to comfort and console and heal them.

• And Jesus comes mostly for sinners, like us,
for all church people are sinners - every single one of us.
He comes for those ashamed of their sins.
He comes for those who deny their sins.

Jesus comes for “repeat sinners”
- those whose sins are the same,
over and over again, year in and year out,
those who can’t seem to break the vicious cycle of sinning.

• And Jesus comes for sinners not in anger or vengeance,
but in love and kindness and compassion.
His desire is not to punish
but to forgive and reconcile and restore.

• Of course, Jesus also comes to call us
to change our hearts and our ways.
But he always meets us first right where we are,
inviting us to follow him
and to become the persons we were created to be.

• Jesus comes to pay attention to you and to me.
He comes to be the light in our darkness,
whatever my darkness and your darkness might be,
he comes to shine his light in the darkness each of us knows
in the privacy of our own hearts,
in the secrecy of our own thoughts
he comes to shine the light of his grace on us
and to share the warmth of his love.

• And he asks us to pay attention,
loving, forgiving, compassionate attention - to one another.
He comes to ask us to share and shine the light of our own hearts
on those around us who sit in darkness.
Perhaps you’ll take your candle home with you today
as a reminder both of the light of Jesus in your life
and the light in your life
that Jesus asks you to share with others.

• As a sign of his love and as proof that he comes for every one of us,
Jesus gave his love, his life, for every one of us on the Cross
and now invites us to sit down with him at his table
and to share in the supper he has prepared for us,
his Body and Blood,
shared with us in the Bread and Cup of the Eucharist.

So, on this Feast of the Presentation,
pay attention to ordinary folks like Simeon and Anna - and us.
And pay attention to Jesus - who pays attention to you -
Jesus who came for you, who came to be the light of the world,
the light in your darkness and mine,
Jesus, the light no darkness can extinguish.


Subscribe to A Concord Pastor Comments 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please THINK before you write
and PRAY before you think!