First Reading: 1Jn 2:3-11; Psalm: 96 R. v. 11a; Gospel: Lk 2:22-35
THE LIGHT OUR WORLD NEEDS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGNUONU, MSP
In the gospel of today, the coming to the temple by Mary and Joseph with the baby Jesus marked two celebrations: The purification of the mother and the offering of the first-born. For the Jews, spilling of blood was a source of uncleanness. So it is a common practice among them that after child birth, a ceremony of purification ought to be done for the woman after a designated number of days. Mary, after observing the 40 days period of seclusion (according to Lev 12:2-8), came to the temple offering a pair of turtledoves for this ceremony.
It was during this time that Mary and Joseph presented the child Jesus in the temple. Simeon, the high priest happened to be in the temple at that time. The Lord had promised him that he would not see death until he had seen Christ the Saviour. This explains his prayer (Nunc Dimittis) to God that he can now go in peace having seen the baby Jesus. In this prayer, Simeon also revealed Jesus as the Light to the Gentiles and the glory of the people of Israel. This is the salvation which Christ brought to our world. Christ is the Light that will cast away the darkness of sin.
Christ is our light; in him is our salvation. Simeon confessed that his eyes have seen the salvation of God when he beheld the Lord’s Christ. When Christ entered his temple, he shone his light of salvation on our souls to enable us become truly sons and daughters of God. St John in the first reading revealed to us that the light of Christ shines out in our daily lives through love. “For he who loves his brother abides in the light . . . But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness . . .” So, to everyone, the only sign that proves that we have been redeemed is nothing more but love. This is the light our world needs.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may your light of salvation shine out in our lives so that we may love one another as you loved us. Amen.