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Looking Beyond Appearances

by Dec 30, 2021Friar Reflection

The world says that Christmas is over. Decorations are down in stores where there are the “after holiday sales.” Radio stations are back to playing only their regular type of music with no Christmas songs. On this Sixth Day of Christmas, for us who call ourselves Christians, we continue celebrating the birth of Jesus.

In today’s Gospel, Anna, an elder Jewish woman, has spent most of her life in the temple. She is a woman of faith, a woman who has a close relationship with God. For this reason, she is able to sense that the Little One, who is brought to the temple by Mary and Joseph, is blessed by God. When she looks at Jesus, she does not see only a Jewish baby, she is able to look beyond appearances and see more. She turns to God in a prayer of praise and points out the Baby to all who are nearby.

When we have a relationship with God, we can see reality in a different way; we perceive what is authentic. Being loved by God leads us to have a different relationship with others and with the world in which we live. We are not interested in wealth, gaining fame, and having prestige. Instead of that, we desire to help others and work for justice, peace, solidarity, respect, and unity. As we continue our celebration of Christmas, today we are invited to see beyond the Baby in the manger, but to see the Savior who was born for us. In this way, we will know the Good News He came to bring us. We will realize that we have a powerful and extraordinary relationship with God, because this Baby is truly Immanuel (God with us) and Yeshua (God saves).

Therefore, I invite you to spend some time today to reflect on how your relationship with God is right now. The Gospel says that Anna “spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem”. What can we do to deepen our relationship with Jesus and help others improve their relationship to God? We can deepen our relationship by our words and actions like the psalmist: “The Lord is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; He governs the peoples with equity”.