Homily – February 2, 2020

Most afternoons at 3; 30 I look out my window and watch the children from Elkhorn school heading home with their parents. It’s a mosaic of Canada, children from many countries of different ethnic backgrounds and of different faith backgrounds. It’s the future of Canada and it is beautiful to see. Watching them holding  a mother of father’s hand talking away like mad, probably telling them all that happened that day. I often wonder what the future holds for these children. How will they deal with developing artificial intelligence and its impact on their lives? How will they cope with the environmental mess we leave them? What careers will the find?

Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple. Keeping the ancient Law of Moses which stated that every first born male shall be designated at holy to the Lord the teenaged Mary and Joseph brought their first born son Jesus and offered him to God. Their sacrifice was two turtle doves. They could barely afford that. Were relatives present for this happy occasion? We don’t know.

Two total strangers were there, Simeon and the widow Anna. These were two elderly people who prayed in the temple every day. Simeon ruined the day for Mary and Joseph. He thanked God for the birth of Jesus as the fulfilment of God’s promise of a Messiah but then warned Mary that this child would break her heart. He would be a trouble maker.

This wasn’t the message of Gabriel when he told Mary of the future of the child she was to conceive. He will be great, he will be called son of the Most High and the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, his kingdom will have no end.’

This message of Simeon must have been a cloud over Mary’s head for many years. What will this child become, what does the future hold for him? But Mary stayed faithful to her response to the Angel, ‘be it done unto me according to you word.’

None of knows what our futures will be. There is a saying  that if you want to make God laugh tell him you plans. Mary was warned her future would be dark and this handmaid of the Lord said let it be so. She knew she was part of a plan that had its origin in God and God would see her through to the end.

This feast presents Mary as a woman who was open to her future and the future of her infant son, whatever that future may be. Can we have that same trust in the goodness of God, in God’s love for each of us and trust in that love as we face our unknown futures?

Maybe all we can respond to these thoughts is, ’Lord I trust You, help the little trust I have.’