Memory of the Church
Woord van god elke dag

Memory of the Church

Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Remembrance of Simeon and Anna, two elderly who waited for the Lord with faith. Prayer for the elderly. Memorial of the centurion Cornelius, the first pagan who was converted and baptized by Peter. Lees meer

Memory of the Church
Thursday, February 2

Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Remembrance of Simeon and Anna, two elderly who waited for the Lord with faith. Prayer for the elderly. Memorial of the centurion Cornelius, the first pagan who was converted and baptized by Peter.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 2,22-40

And when the day came for them to be purified in keeping with the Law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord- observing what is written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord- and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is prescribed in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to the restoration of Israel and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said: Now, Master, you are letting your servant go in peace as you promised; for my eyes have seen the salvation which you have made ready in the sight of the nations; a light of revelation for the gentiles and glory for your people Israel. As the child's father and mother were wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Look, he is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed- and a sword will pierce your soul too -- so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.' There was a prophetess, too, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came up just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem. When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And as the child grew to maturity, he was filled with wisdom; and God's favour was with him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Forty days have passed since Christmas, and today the Church celebrates feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. Jesus is presented as the "light of the nations." The Lord is coming to illuminate our lives and the life of our world. The hearts of many are still plunged in darkness, but the liturgy shows us the Lord, still a Child, who encounters the people. Who recognizes him? The Gospel speaks of an elderly man named Simeon, who was "looking forward to the consolation of Israel," and did not resign himself to the darkness of the present world. He was old and yet he let himself be guided by the Spirit, as the Gospel notes. He was sure he would not die before seeing the Messiah, the Christ. In his old age, Simeon let prophecy guide him: he has an attentive, vigilant heart, and does not follow his own complaints, as we do even when we are less old. When Simeon sees Jesus, he takes him in his arms and sings all of his wonder: "Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation." Simeon's eyes are enlightened by that Child. Jesus' light takes away the shade of fear of death and Simeon who feels "full of days" can go in peace towards the passage of death. He prophesizes to Mary that the Child will be a sign of contradiction: he will ask all to change their lives. There will be those who welcome him and will be in joy and those who will oppose him and will lose themselves. There is then the witness of Anna, a widow and elderly of eighty-four. She was living in the temple, in prayer. She too recognizes the child as the Messiah and since that moment begins to tell the good news to everyone in the temple. The encounter between the Son of God and his people passes also through two elderly people. The humble Simeon and the widow Anna recognize him, welcome him and show his light. One gives thanks and concludes peacefully his life, the other begins to communicate him to all. In this encounter everything can change, as the lives of those two elderly people. Today they are ahead of us as teachers of faith.

Het gebed is het hart van het leven van de Gemeenschap van Sant’Egidio. Het is haar eerste “werk”. Aan het einde van de dag komt elke Gemeenschap, of die nu klein of groot is, samen bij de Heer om het Woord te beluisteren en zich tot Hem te richten in het gebed. De leerlingen kunnen niet anders dan aan de voeten van Jezus zitten, zoals Maria van Bethanië, om het “betere deel” te kiezen (Lc 10, 42) en van Hem zijn gezindheid te leren (vgl. Fil 2, 5).

Elke keer dat de Gemeenschap zich tot de Heer richt, maakt ze zich die vraag eigen van de anonieme leerling: “Heer, leer ons bidden!” (Lc 11, 1). En Jezus, meester in het gebed, antwoordt: “Wanneer jullie bidden, zeg dan: Abba, Vader”.

Wanneer we bidden, ook in de geslotenheid van ons eigen hart, zijn we nooit alleen of verweesd. Integendeel, we zijn leden van de familie van de Heer. In het gemeenschappelijk gebed wordt naast het mysterie van het kindschap, ook dat van de broederschap en zusterschap duidelijk.

De Gemeenschappen van Sant’Egidio, verspreid over de wereld, verzamelen zich op de verschillende plaatsen die gekozen zijn voor het gebed en brengen de hoop en het verdriet van de “uitgeputte en hulpeloze mensenmenigte” waarover het Evangelie spreekt (Mt 9, 37) bij de Heer. Deze oude menigte omvat de inwoners van onze hedendaagse steden, de armen die zich bevinden in de marge van het leven, en iedereen die wacht om als dagloner te worden aangenomen (vgl. Mt 20).

Het gemeenschappelijk gebed verzamelt de schreeuw, de hoop, het verlangen naar vrede, genezing, zin en redding, die beleefd worden door de mannen en vrouwen van deze wereld. Het gebed is nooit leeg. Het stijgt onophoudelijk op naar de Heer opdat verdriet verandert in vreugde, wanhoop in blijheid, angst in hoop, eenzaamheid in gemeenschap. En het rijk Gods zal spoedig temidden van de mensen komen.