Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
First John 2:12-17; Psalm 96 and Luke 2:36-40
There are some people, as they grow old, who become apprehensive, anxious, afraid, insecure, and even bitter. However, others do it a bit more gracefully and productively. Here are a few examples:
Noah Webster wrote his dictionary at age seventy.
Socrates gave his wise philosophies well into his seventies.
Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross at fifty-nine.
Thomas Edison was busy inventing in his lab at eighty-three.
In today’s Gospel, we have the prophetess, Anna, who lived and worked in the temple even at the age of eighty-four. We know nothing about Anna, except what is written in Luke’s Gospel narrative. We learn that she was a widow but has not grown bitter, resentful, or insecure. She is old, but she has never ceased to hope and to love and serve God. There are two things Anna does in her life as a widow in her old age:
First, she never stops worshiping God. She spends her life in God’s holy temple, together with the people of God. Today, God gives us His Church to be our mother in the faith.
Secondly, she never ceases to pray. Public worship, like attending Mass, is our duty as Catholic Christians. Prayer is equally as powerful. Someone once said, “They pray best together who pray first alone.”
The years have left Anna without bitterness, apprehension, anxiety, fear, and insecurity because day by day, she kept her contact with God through prayer. God, who was her source and is our source of strength.
Question of the Day: How are you growing old; are you productive or bitter?
Prayer: Lord, You know my weaknesses and my faults. Give me the strength and piety to serve You with faithful love, even when this is difficult for me. Amen.