By Lynda MacFarland
I love the story of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. The two people who have spent their lives awaiting the promises of God, Simeon and Anna, finally rewarded on this glorious day! When Mary and Joseph bring Jesus into the temple, Simeon and Anna know He’s the One for whom they have been waiting. What a moment of absolute grace.
And, as I was reminded recently in one of Bishop Robert Barron’s Daily Gospel Reflection, Jesus will be back in this temple to bring the ultimate sacrifice. He will let the world know that His body is the True Temple. It’s coming to a climax soon. But the war between good and evil is no contest.
Good is made up of love and beauty. Anything good is of God. And God is stronger than anything or anyone. As I said, it’s no contest. Those who would think the struggle between good and evil is a fight where we should be on the edge of our seats awaiting the outcome is delusional.
Don’t think “Star Wars”
This battle is not a movie. This struggle is life. Only God can give life, and only God can sanctify, which He did in becoming a man, a human-like you and like me.
God is love, and love is stronger than death. In every way conceivable, good is stronger than evil. We know ‘the rest of the story’ as believers. So, don’t be afraid.
If seeing Jesus in His suffering and death makes you sad, that’s understandable. For we helped put him there, in our sin and lack of faith. But don’t think it meant God was ever defeated. For that sacrifice becomes our greatest triumph!
He takes our sin upon Himself and dies for us. We could not redeem ourselves. So, while we may be sad and feel regret for what Jesus endured for our sins, our overriding emotion should be that of gratitude knowing God loves us that much. Jesus redeems us.
Let’s talk about humility
Jesus’ humility is breathtaking. He does not deserve any of the things He endures in His Passion, but He takes them all on for you and me.
We should be humbled. Every day of our life, we should realize we are and never could be worthy of the sacrifice, yet God proves his love for us that He sent His Son to die for us. God loves us that much.
Thank God, Jesus is worthy enough for all of us. He is the reason to be grateful for our existence, but more for His. To be joyful that He made us worthy and able to be kind, loving, and forgiving to one another because Jesus is all those things with us.
Remember, the Incarnation leads to the Crucifixion. But don’t ever stop there. For that death leads to the Resurrection. And the first Christians, the eyewitnesses, went to their deaths for Jesus because they had seen the Risen Lord and would never be the same.
When Jesus is back among his friends, those who were unfaithful during his arrest; He forgives them. He explains why he suffered and died; and how he will never leave them or anyone who comes after them (you and me). I hope you would also want to share that incredible story with everyone you meet. The joy and sacrifice are too great to keep to ourselves.
About the author:
Lynda MacFarland loves Jesus and her fondest desire is to encourage others in their faith journey toward Home. She prays often that the things she does will glorify God and advance His Kingdom. Lynda is the author of one book (so far!), Drowning In Lemonade – Reflections of an Army Wife, and has a blog at www.drowning-in-lemonade.com