30th December, Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

1 John 2 : 12-17; Luke 2 : 36-40

Shun the world’s attractions: The world passes; God alone remains.


Photographer David Crocket of KOMO-TV, Seattle, was caught at the foot of Mt. St. Helens when it exploded on May 18, 1980. He was nearly buried in the falling ash. Ten hours later he was miraculously spotted, picked up by a helicopter, and rushed to a hospital.

After the ordeal Crocket wrote in Guideposts: “During those ten hours I saw a mountain fall apart. I saw a forest disappear. . . .I saw that God is the only one who is immovable.

I feel somehow that I’m being allowed to start over . . .whatever is in his master plan for me.”


To thank God for the liberation he brings us in and through his Son, Jesus, is the core of every Eucharistic celebration. There we say: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.” With the prophetess Anna, let us express our thanks for our liberation to the Lord, our God, and praise him wholeheartedly.

Too easily, as St John says, we lose our heart to the world; we follow its ways of thinking and acting. Let us ask the Lord to forgive us.


Are we more committed to worldly goals than we are to heavenly goals? “I would like to live a long time. Longevity has its place, but I am not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.” Martin Luther King, Jr.


Have you ever wondered what you will be doing, or what you will look like when you are 84 years old? Or can you ever imagine what I will look like when I am 84? Well, looks aside, I wonder what kind of a person I will be when I am 84. I wonder if I will be a grumpy and long-winded old man. But going by the general attitude of our pragmatic society, we don't want to think something so far ahead, we may even want to avoid thinking about it. Because in a society where the value of a person is measured in terms of productivity and efficiency, then an old person is a liability, a sort of weak link.

In fact one of the common laments of the aged is that they feel useless and are just waiting to die. But as I reflect on the gospel and on the 84-year-old prophetess Anna, an image comes to my mind - the image of a glorious mellow sunset. She was old, but nonetheless she was radiant and mellow, maybe even glorious in her own ways, just like the sun setting slowly and quietly over the horizon.

And we have among us many of these glorious mellow sunsets. When we look around, we are sure to see those aunties, a bit bent, a bit slow in their steps, but yet coming every day for Mass, with Rosary or a prayer book in their hands.

Their names may not be Anna, but they are very much like her. And like Anna, they also have gone through a lot, they also have seen a lot. When we see them, let us acknowledge them, and say something loving and simple like: Aunty, God bless you. Pray for me ok. They will be glad, they will be very happy to pray for us too.

In these old aunties as well as old uncles, we see the wisdom and the enlightenment that the 1st reading talked about. They know that the world and all it craves for is coming to an end. But anyone who does the will of God remains forever. Let us learn from them, these radiant and mellow sunsets, and let us live life gracefully by always praising and thanking the Lord.


Opening Prayer

Almighty Father, you let humble, faithful people recognize your Son and welcome him as the Savior, who brought freedom and life to his people. May we, too, recognize and welcome Jesus in all that is little and humble and with him grow up in wisdom and grace to the maturity of your sons and daughters, so that we attain the full stature of Jesus. We ask this through him, our Lord.