The WORD in Other Words by Fr Gilberto Marqueses SVD (Philippines)
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
The presentation of the Lord is preceded by those who long to see Him. It is anticipated by those who long to see the salvation of the people. The song of Simeon, NuncDimittis, is revealing of the completion of one’s life through the encounter with the Lord. Luke even extends it to another figure, Anna, who also longs to see the Lord for the redemption of Jerusalem. After their quiet and patient longing for the Lord, they burst out in joy and reveal their prophetic messages of salvation.
The theme of being a messenger is emphasized in the first reading today. Malachi, believed to be a name derived from the scriptural text “my messenger,” precedes the Lord in order to prepare His way. The vocation of preaching should therefore be reinforced as a form of witnessing to the salvific grace of God. “For the lips… should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts” (Mal 2:7).
Simeon, Anna, the messenger, and all those who “have heard” the Lord must commit themselves to the preparation of His way. The mission of the messenger is, nonetheless, only preparatory. For when the Lord comes, the message Himself, we shall all point to Him and dismiss ourselves in peace as a perfect completion of the mission and love of God.