The Presentation to the Shepherds and to Us
February 4, 2020
Christ is always being revealed to the world, and today, we as pilgrims in the Holy Land were able to see him being revealed in two different instances, and this revelation causes the listener to act.
The first instance was in Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple in Jerusalem. As the Gospel says, a presentation was done for all firstborn males, it was a common and ordinary thing. But Simeon knew, without being told, that this child, in particular, was someone special, someone different than the thousands of other children presented at the temple. This child was our salvation. He was filled with the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity revealing the Second Person of the Trinity. With this knowledge that he had finally seen the Christ, Simeon was now prepared for his death.
Later, we went to the place where it is believed that the angel appeared to the shepherds, telling them a Savior was born and they should go find him. What do they do? They go. Now, here is where I can tell you one thing that I have learned about the shepherds’ journey, there is nothing flat in the Holy Land.
Everything is up and down on hills. As one seminarian said to me, “how is it Seth, that I leave here to go to the church and I go uphill. Then when I come back, I go back uphill? That makes no sense but that’s what happens.” The journey uphill was precisely what the shepherds had to do, they were down at the bottom and had to walk straight uphill. Up a hill to find and be present to someone they had never met, all because an angel told them they should go.
These accounts show two different ways Christ is revealed; one by the Holy Spirit and one by an angel. Resulting in two different actions; one is prepared for his death, and the others go uphill to search for Christ, whose revelation is still happening today. Whether it is through the Mass, through personal prayer, reading scripture, or through others influencing us by their Christian actions, the list can go on and on. What does this do to us when he is revealed? Do we change our ways? Do we imitate him? Do we become better people? Do we forgive? This is what Christ asks of us, to change our ways and be with him.
Diocese of Lubbock