The Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord
(I John 2:12-17; Luke 2:36-40)
A writer consults her wise, old uncle about what to do as a hurricane approaches. He tells her to seek safety and then write about her experience. Another woman remembers her mother telling how to cope with uncertainty. The elder said to “always proceed as if there will be enough.” In today’s gospel a wise, old woman shares her insight about what she sees before her.
Anna, who almost lives in the Temple, represents ancient Israel. She stands in contrast to Jews of a generation later who will call for Jesus’ death on a cross. Anna recognizes that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel. He is the one who will win Israel’s freedom. At the same time he will lead all people to Israel to learn how to live in peace.
As Anna had prophetic foresight, we should not lose our correct hindsight. Jesus comes from God to save us from our folly. He teaches us to avoid the pitfalls that imprison people in their own desires. He gives himself in the Eucharist to enable us to act with justice.