Or Candlemas or Pancake Day or or Groundhog Day or just Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016.
Today in the gospel we read of Mary and Joseph presenting Jesus at the temple. They meet Simeon and Anna, both of whom had long awaited the arrival of the Messiah. I have wondered if their words only brought confusion to the new parents or a sense of affirmation.
Surely Mary and Joseph had put something together what with the greeting of Gabriel, the messages in dreams, Elizabeth’s welcome, shepherds and kings. Children lost when their child was born. Did hearing the warning of Simeon, “and you yourself a sword will pierce” and greeting of Anna who “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” give them assurance that what they were embarking on was indeed from God?
And then there’s the word itself – present, as a word, can be so many things – a noun, a verb and an adjective. Simeon spoke of verbs – piercing of a sword, the rise and fall of many. Anna gloried in the noun of it all – the child! And they were both ‘present’ at that wonderful ‘present’ moment; an adjective.
We, also, have a part to play in all of this. Today is our day to see how we can use the word. How about this –
Shall we ‘present’ ourselves before God, offering ourselves as ‘present’ to Him for His use, and His glory so that at any ‘present’ moment people can see Him acting in us?
Sounds pretty good!
As for the pancakes – it goes like this – one of the priests at my parish has been all over the world, currently the rectory’s head cook and is pretty old as well. Today he talked about the weird reality that the first pancake we make is usually a clunker. Is that as true in your house as well as my own? He happens to him as well.
It takes awhile to get the heat right on the pan/griddle. It takes one or sometimes two to know exactly when to flip them for the perfect pancake.
Well, Fr. Frank said that on this day as Candlemas was when Christmas was finally put away, was also a day for pancakes – perhaps the easiest meal on day when you are cleaning up piles of dead pine needles?
Anyways, they would make pancakes and put the first one aside in the cupboard to remember they were once hungry and God fed them – with pancakes and with the Messiah, “the glory of your people Israel”.
And the groundhog? Phil didn’t see his shadow so if you follow rodents for your weather, it should be an early spring! And, Groundhog Day, the movie with Bill Murray is on the Vatican’s list of 50 Greatest Movies, so there’s that!