P: St. Francis of Assisi-
M: Make me an instrument of your peace.
I: For peace throughout the world, especially in the Middle East
Dear Friends on the journey,
Blessings on this month of February in which we start out with the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. In the old days, this feast would have ended the Christmas season.
When I think of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple, I think of my own self being blessed to stand in front of Jesus as he presents himself to me.
How often do we just move from one day into the next day and never stop to think about how many times Jesus presents himself to us, or how we present ourselves to Jesus.
Our busy lives seem to jump from one activity to the next and we forget that Jesus is with us walking with us and asking us in his own special way with the question, how can I help, how can I be of assistance to you?
How often do we just say to ourselves, "well I can do this" without the help of anyone? Yet, Jesus constantly presents to us his Sacred Heart that is always full of joy even in the midst of our own personal suffering, sufferings of getting old, sufferings of a chronic disease that I may have. Wishing I could do more when my body says you must do less. I think of so many people in my life who find it extremely hard to just get up in the morning out of bed. I sometimes in my dreams, I dream of being able to run as I used to when I was just a few years younger. Now I can only walk, and that can be sometimes very frustrating when I am a person that just can't sit still.
I find myself going to bed at night and spending time just talking to God, "thank you for this day and thank you for giving me the opportunity to just be in your presence, even in my own infirmities." Sometimes I feel life is all a long dream and I will wake up full of energy to run and do the things I could do in years past. Yet Jesus says, STOP, just present yourself to me and I will help you with your days of pain, your days of wishing you could do the things of the past. For my own reflection, I need to thank God each day for those people far and near he puts in my own life, my own presence to understand that we all have a part and continue to have a part in our life's journey with Jesus in our daily faith!
When I was in living at TAU House Friary in New Orleans a place where we cared for those who were disenfranchised from the Church. I could see each day the pain of hate they faced from those who would mock them for being different, those who were divorced, separated, suffering from HIV/AIDS, being a gay, lesbian or a transgender person. Yet in all the pain, now that I look back on all that awesome time I had in New Orleans, I could see Jesus being presented to me and to many others who were transformed by that Sacred Heart that was full of love and compassion. I was being transformed each day and it wasn't until years later I understood, why God placed me in that place of painful joy!
In conclusion, I would ask each of us to just look around us and see the many ways that Jesus presents himself to us and how we can present ourselves to him, who loves and nurtures us in the word of God and in his most precious body and blood at the Altar of love and sacrifice.
Luke 2: v 29-32
May we like Simeon take the Lord in our arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss[c] your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
This month see yourselves as the persons of light and glory with much faith, hope, and love to everyone you meet! Happy Presentation month!
Peace and all good,
Brother Ed Arambasich, OFM