The Lord coming to His temple – A fearful thought

We may try to read today’s gospel as a pleasant family anecdote; however, we should probably think otherwise.  In the gospel reading, Jesus visits the temple as a young child. This is the only story we get about Jesus as a young child outside of the birth and infancy narratives.  So, it is easy to understand the tendency to try to read this as a nice story.

Yet in the longer version of the reading Simeon says:

Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

This is not pleasant news for us at all.  This child did not come to warm our hearts, but to bring down those of us with proud hearts.  He came as a sign that would be contradicted.

And, if that weren’t enough, we are told in Malachi that the Lord will visit His temple as a refining fire, refining as gold and silver.

I think the challenge of the readings today is not to become too comfortable with Jesus.  He is the Son of God who loves us, but He is also the Son of God come to bring down the arrogant and burn away our impurities.

Advertisements

About Jeremy

I work at Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Hammond, LA. I teach part-time classes from time to time, through Loyola University in New Orleans, Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans and St. Joseph's Abbey and Seminary College. I also just finished a doctoral degree in Biblical languages through the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa.
This entry was posted in Devotional, Lectionary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s