Monday, December 30, 2013

Sixth Day within the Octave of Christmas

(I John 3:2-17; Luke 2:36-40)

Costa Rica is often idealized as a Utopia.  It is true that the nation abolished its army in favor of better education and medical care.  But with its quadrennial elections approaching, its people feel oppressed by the same concerns most societies have:  corruption in government that impedes development, politicians who promise much more than they can deliver, and growing inequality.  There is an echo of these cries for justice in the gospel today.

Anna is called a "prophetess" meaning she not one only sees into the future but decries the present reality of sin.  With Jesus' presence she announces deliverance at hand.  She does not hesitate a moment to tell "all who were awaiting he redemption of Jerusalem" of the Christ child."  "Jerusalem" can be equated with society or the world.  In the Book of Revelation Jesus' defeat of evil ushers in the "new Jerusalem," a city of social harmony that the world has been awaiting since the Fall of Adam.

Christ has come to redeem humankind.  His work accomplishes more than assisting individual souls find their way to heaven.  It slowly but surely -- with regresses sometimes approaching its advancements -- is forming a world community where respect for human dignity transforms strife among peoples and nations into a reign of peace for all.

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