The feast of the Meeting of the Lord celebrated every year on February 2, 40 days after Christ’s birth, instills in us a beautiful image because of our tradition of Churching Prayers for newborn babies. It’s one of the most joyous occasions for a priest also, and it is a beautiful sight for the entire congregation as the priest walks down the center of the church all the way to the Altar holding the baby, presenting him to the Lord and the community and praying the beautiful prayers. We can imagine this with the baby Jesus in the arms of the Righteous Simeon at the Temple in Jerusalem with the Prophetess Ana as witness.
The central teaching of this event is that Simeon and Ana were waiting in expectation for the Anointed One of God who would bring peace and comfort to the people of Israel. The Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would live until the Christ was to be shown him. The righteous old man immediately recognized the baby Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the One sent to console the people of Israel. Likewise, Ana recognized Him, the Anointed One, and proclaimed Him to the people as the redemption for Israel. Many others of their time were looking for the consolation of their nation but their search was fruitless because their hearts wanted an earthly consolation that would save them from their Roman occupation or the struggle of everyday life. Simeon and Ana immediately recognized their source of redemption and consolation in the baby Jesus because their hearts desired a divine redemption and the consolation of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let us wait in expectation for the consolation of God’s people through heavenly gifts, not temporary earthly accomplishments.