Today’s gospel (Luke 2:22-40) certainly focuses on the Holy Family and their encounter with two holy lay people, Simeon and Anna, who were “awaiting the redemption of Israel.” It’s clear that they were both infused in the tradition of the Mosaic Law, especially the prophets. So they’d have been raised and instructed in that tradition as young people, deepening their anticipation as they grew older and wiser. In turn, they’d have passed on the stories within that tradition, all of which pointed to a Messiah who would come and redeem Israel.
All the Old Testament stories and prophecies pointed forward to their fulfilment in the one to come, the Messiah. We, you and I, now have the benefit of hindsight, and the gift of faith. We know that fulfilment came in the person of Jesus the Christ, who by his life, death and resurrection redeemed the entire world. We now have our own Tradition, centred on Jesus.
Consider yourself to be a Simeon or an Anna. To whom do you pass on the stories of fulfilment in and through Jesus Christ? Who will inherit a deeper understanding of our Tradition because of your efforts? Do you ever share the fascinating stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and the prophets, teaching your children and grandchildren how the promises made to them were fulfilled in Jesus Christ? Do your children and grandchildren really understand what Joseph and Mary were doing in the temple in today’s story?
One of the easiest yet greatest things we can do is to become good story-tellers, passing on our scriptural faith foundation and thereby bringing others closer to Christ. We should become a channel of wisdom, and help others grow in wisdom before God- after all, our baptism requires this of us.
The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ’s perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had promised .All of us are called to holiness, and to imitate the lives of the saints who can intercede for us.
See also Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) item numbers #529 and #2013