Gospel reading: Luke 2:36-40
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;and the favor of God was upon him.
She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child. Anna, the elderly and pious widow, is like the man who stumbles upon a treasure in a field. By God’s providence she is in the Temple when the old man Simeon took the Child Jesus in his arms and spoke of Him as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for Your people Israel” (Lk 2:32). The moment she recognizes the Child, Anna also gives thanks to God and speaks about the Child to all who are awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. We see here again that faith is indeed a gift of God, and that those who receive the gift of recognizing the Savior must proclaim Him to others out of gratitude. Anna’s example tells us, besides, that no one is too old to be a witness to Jesus. She seems so handicapped: A woman, an elderly person, and a widow. And yet she gives witness to Jesus.
Anna puts to shame many able-bodied Christians who dare not speak of Jesus to others.
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