Benedictine Spirituality Christmastide Gospel Lectio Divina Presentation Prophetic voices Scripture Uncategorized

Light in the shadows

Photo by Marie Couffon de Trevros on Unsplash

As we celebrate the feast of the Presentation I’m finding myself drawn to the prophetess Anna. She captures something of the essence of this feast which always seems to me to be a combination of shadow and light. In many ways Anna is a very shadowy figure. An older woman and a widow it’s easy to see how she might be overlooked, pushed into the background by people with more importance or louder voices. Yet that’s not the picture Luke paints for us.

She is a woman grounded in the faith of her people, a prophetess who has spent her life in the Temple worshipping and praising God. Like Simeon she recognises that the child being presented is no ordinary child, but the long awaited Messiah:

“She came up just at that moment and began to praise God; and to speak about the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.”

Far from a shadowy figure Luke presents a wise woman, who is able to recognise and proclaim the presence of God with confidence. She is no stranger to suffering and loss, having experienced both in her long life. She knew what it meant to keep on hoping even when hope seemed lost in the long shadows of hopelessness. It is out of these shadowy and sometimes painful experiences that she is able to recognise the presence of Christ, the promise light of the world in the most unlikely of circumstances.

As we celebrate the feast of the Presentation how does the light of Christ break through the shadows in your life?