December 29, 2016 – Thursday in the Octave of Christmas

Saint for the day: Thomas Becket (December, 1118 – December, 1170)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

1 John 2:3-11    –    Psalm 96    –    Luke 2:22-25

“God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son, so that all who believe in him may not perish, but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

If I understand the meaning of “Yin/Yang” I think it means, “if you have this you also have that.” And we certainly see that in so many of bible passages throughout the Church year.

Today we hear the Gospel passage of the presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple according to the Law of Moses which says, “every male child who opens the womb shall be presented to the Lord on the eighth day.” I don’t know if the Church liturgists’ deliberately placed yesterday’s feast of Holy Innocents right next to today’s celebration with the Gospel recounting the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. My “Ying/Yang” connection would pick up on the reference to Herod’s massacre of the male boys being like that of Pharaoh’s order to kill all the male children born of Hebrew women.

Today’s Gospel turns that around as the boy-child Jesus –who is the son of God – is presented (or offered) back to God. Yet, Simeon prophecy was that “this child shall be the rise and fall of many in Israel…”

And, just in case Mary thinks that she will have an “easy life” being the mother of the son of God, Simeon tells her that a sword will pierce her heart and she will be given the title, “Our Lady of Sorrows.” We’re back to one of my favorite scripture passages from Ecclesiasticus (2:1) “… prepare yourself for an ordeal if you aspire to follow the Lord.”

But we don’t despair since we know the whole story. And all we have to do today is repeat the words of Simeon, “Lord, now let me go in peace. Your word has been fulfilled. My eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared … a light to reveal you to the nations.’

Does this just mean that we’re “walking down easy street?” “Ying/Yang” still plays out in our lives and we know that we have to stay on “the way” and pick up our cross to follow this “light of the world” through Calvary and the tomb into resurrection glory. Amen!

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