Friday 2 February 2024

About Today Readings

The Presentation of the Lord | Day of penance

Malachi 3:1–4. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! – Psalm 23(24):7–10. Hebrews 2:14–18. Luke 2:22–40.

Recognising the new and vital

Traditions are wonderful, but they need to adapt. I once attended the wedding of a woman who wanted to get married on the anniversary of her mother’s wedding and wear her mother’s wedding dress. This sounds beautiful but her mother got married on this day, 2 February 2024, in Hungary when there was snow on the ground. In the northern hemisphere, today is called Candlemas because candles are such a blessing on dark days. The problem was that on this side of the world the woman got married in 40-degree heat. The dress was padded like the heaviest doona imaginable. It’s a wonder she didn’t faint. Today’s Gospel presents us with two beautiful characters: Simeon and Anna. They were both old and they both loved tradition, otherwise they would hardly have spent so much time in the temple. But when they encountered the baby Jesus, they both knew that something fresh and new and vital was happening.

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