“There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.”
How did Anna become the prophetess? Dr. Luke offers seven ways:
- As a widow, her husband was God.
- She never left the temple
- She worshipped night and day
- Anna fasted and prayed
- She understood God’s timing was right “coming forward at that very time.”
- She gave thanks to God
- Anna exercised her gift,” and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.”
Today’s readings offer other insights:
- Seasons of Life create Spiritual Life. John’s epistle (1 John 2) is the New Testament version of Ecclesiastes 3. As a dad who is nearing 65, I know what it’s like to experience forgiveness in Jesus’ name. As a dad, I know my name will be at most a footnote in world history. But I do know the name of Jesus who is the Alpha and Omega and is the only name that defeats Evil but “whoever does the will of God remains forever.”
- God’s Family Gives. St Francis considered the moon and stars family. In the mind of the Psalmist, so is every nation in the world. When we give thanks to God and look forward to the peace of Jerusalem, it’s our way of entering into his courts with the hope of universal worship wearing the worship attire deserving of a priest in God’s family.
- Every Day is Holy. The Orthodox have a saying, “There are thoughts and there are thoughts.” It’s also true, “There are days and there are days.” Scripture exclaims, “ A Holy Day has Dawned upon us.” Ecclesiastes prophetically said, “The day of one’s death is better than one’s death.” Why? The Church celebrates the feast day of its saints on their death day because as Paul said, “that day is far greater.” Start finding the Holy in Every Day.