Anna the Prophetess

Luke 2: 36-40

1 Jn 2:12-17 / Psa 96

Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
(Luke 2:38)

For her devotion, man’s salvation

Was to Anna made manifest.

To the hopeful and the prayerful

Grace from heaven will come to rest.

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him. (Luke 2:36-40)

Reflection

She was married for only seven years when her husband died. Though still young, she never remarried, but stayed in the temple, a widow, for more than fifty years. She never left the temple, but worshipped night and day with fasting and prayer. And for this kind of devotion, God rewarded her, like Simeon before her, with wisdom to witness and proclaim that the Messiah had finally come.

The discipline and devotion of Anna, the prophetess is hard to imagine, much less imitate. Day and night for more than fifty years, fasting and worshipping in the temple is beyond the comprehension of many Christians who cannot even go to mass more than once a week.

As we end year this year, and again prepare another set of New Year’s resolutions for 2018, let us ask her to intercede for us, that we may be able to follow her as our model in persevering with our pledge to change for the better, and devoting more time and will in achieving our spiritual goals. Let us be guided by the words of St. Paul, who said: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” (Col.3:12-15)

Let your Spirit convict us, Lord to visit You more often (and longer) in the Adoration Chapel. Thank You for the life of Anna, the prophetess, whose example has helped us to know You better in the practice of fasting and meditation. Amen.

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