(Luke 2:22-40) From the very beginning, Jesus’ parents knew that He was special. Not in the sense of most parents – dreaming and hoping that their child would do something great with his or her life – but actually knowing that He was set apart for a divine purpose. This much had been revealed to Mary and Joseph through heavenly messengers.So when they encountered Simeon and Anna in the temple, it only confirmed what they already knew, that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Chosen One, “set for the fall and rising of many in Israel…” (Lk 2:34).
But what could this mean exactly? There was no way for Mary and Joseph to know. As before, when visited by the angels, few details were given. But one thing was apparent. From a purely human perspective, this didn’t sound like good news. This truth Simeon spoke of would “pierce” Mary’s own soul.1 Yet the young couple completely trusted in God’s plan. Even though they didn’t know what would take place or how it would happen, they knew that God was faithful.
Despite how it may seem, Mary and Joseph weren’t passive; they didn’t just stand by and watch the events of their Son’s life unfold. Rather, from the beginning, they helped Jesus fulfill His mission by teaching Him to pray, by offering their example of humble service, and by raising Him according to the customs of their faith. It was for this reason that they presented Him at the temple 40 days after His birth – to fulfill the Jewish law. In short, they did what every parent wants to do for the children entrusted to their care – help them fulfill their life’s purpose.
Parents are faced with an awesome task. They must provide for their children’s physical and spiritual needs. As parents, we must never be afraid to teach our children about God, to pass on our faith. Indeed, it is our most important duty. Only in this way will our children find the path marked out for them – discover their vocation, the way to peace and fulfillment. When we commit our lives to the Lord, we don’t really know what He has in store. But there’s one thing we can know with certainty: If we put our trust in God, He will show us the path of life, a life worth living.
– Kelley Holy
1 Cf. Luke 2:35