In his homily for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which falls on the Catholic liturgical calendar today, Pope Francis reflected on how the celebration shows how the very young and the very old can be brought together for the worship and glory of God. The feast celebrates the presentation of Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem, where Simeon the righteous man and the Prophetess Anna recognized him as the Messiah. “The Presentation is a meeting between the young full of joy in observing the Law of the Lord and the elderly full of joy by the action of the Holy Spirit. It is a singular meeting between observance and prophecy,” the Pope said today in St. Peter's Basilica.
“The parents of Jesus had the joy of observing the precepts of God, yes, the joy of walking in the Law of the Lord... It’s not an external fact, it’s not to feel alright, no! It’s a strong, profound desire, full of joy,” the Holy Father taught. The Pope explained that Simeon, who the Bible calls a "just man," and Anna, who the Gospel refers to as a Prophetess who fell under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. “In other words, these two elderly people are full of life! They are full of life because they are animated by the Holy Spirit, docile to his actions, sensitive to his call,” preached the Pope. “If we reflect carefully, the observance of the law is animated by the same Spirit, and prophecy moves us along the path drawn by the Law. Who more than Mary is full of the Holy Spirit? Who more than she is docile to his actions?”
Reflecting on the religious life to a congregation filled with consecrated religious from around the world, the Holy Father said that consecrated living ought to be seen as a "meeting with Christ."
“Jesus Christ comes to us, brought by Mary and Joseph, and we who go towards him, guided by the Holy Spirit. But He is at the center. He moves everything, he draws us to the Temple, to the Church, where we can meet him, know him, welcome him, embrace him,” explained the Pontiff. “Jesus comes to meet us in the Church through the foundational charism of an institute: it’s beautiful to think this about our vocations! “And also in the consecrated life, one lives the meeting between youth and the elderly, between observance and prophecy, let us not see them as two opposing realities!”
“A sign of this is joy, the joy of observance, of journeying in the rule of life, and the joy of being guided by the Spirit, never rigid, never closed, always open to the voice of God who speaks, who opens, who leads,” Francis said, urging those present to share their wisdom with young people.