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Dear Friends...
Fr. Stuart

Are you ready to let God into your life every day?

Fr. Stuart examines the habits of those who reap the rewards of Faith and perseverance.

Have you ever thought about the things that we all do every day?
I’m not talking about things that you do once in awhile, or once a month, or even once a week. I’m talking every, single day. Maybe you read the newspaper every day. Maybe you make your bed every day. Maybe you use your keys to lock or unlock something, every day. Maybe you eat breakfast every day. Maybe you exercise every day. Maybe you watch television every day. A lot of people do. That list of things that each one of us does every day is probably longer than we’d first think. And that list of things that ALL of us do every day, is probably much shorter than we think. Most all of us sleep some every day, but we know that on any given day there are people who aren’t sleeping for one reason or another. Most of us eat every day, and yet, we know there are people who routinely go more than a day without eating. Probably more likely, we all drink something every day. To not do so would make you dehydrated. Most all of us go to the bathroom every day. We won’t get into that here. And hopefully, all of us brush our teeth every day. When I was a boy, I knew a boy in our neighbourhood who hated to brush his teeth. He always said that when he got older he was going to be monk, because he had heard that monks don’t have to brush their teeth. I don’t even think the boy was Catholic. Plus, let me assure you, even monks have to brush their teeth. Monks live in pretty close proximity to one another, and they would not have bad breath for long when in training in a monastery!
On the Feast of the Presentation, which is normally on or around the 2nd of February, we hear the story of Simeon and Anna. And the Gospel tells us that both Simeon and Anna went to the Temple every day, because both of them believed that one day, they would see the Messiah there. They went every day! The Gospel says, in a nice way, that they were both older. So this is something that Simeon and Anna had done for a long time. And of course, as we just heard, they are both rewarded for their Faith and their perseverance, by the fact that they do get to see Jesus on the day that He is presented to God in the Temple. God fulfils His promises to Simeon and Anna. All those days, all those trips, all that time they spent at the Temple, they get to see the Messiah that will save them and us. It must have been quite a day. Simeon even says, “Lord, now I can go in peace, my eyes have seen the salvation.”
This Feast Day and this story has got to make all of us think, how much is God a part of our lives every single day? We don’t all have to come to the Temple every day, like Simeon and Anna did. And yet shouldn’t there be some acknowledgment of God every day in our lives?

God has made promises to us, and we have made promises to Him. How can we remember those promises if we go on day after day without even remembering God?

Sometimes we really do need to show up. Sometimes our presence can make all the difference in the world. Sometimes our prayer life and our relationship with God CAN’T wait, and CAN’T be put on the back burner. Sometimes God wants us right now! We’ve got to make God more and more a part of our daily lives. What do we have to do to make that happen?
You know, not brushing your teeth every day, not taking a shower every day, not eating right every day, not exercising every day, not getting enough sleep every day, all of these things can get us into trouble one way or another. So too, not letting God into your life every day can cost you. We can miss out on so much! Don’t let that happen. Let God fulfil His promises to you every day!
May God bless us especially on the Feast of the Presentation, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…
First published on St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church online.

Bourdon About the artwork: Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is a painting in oil on canvas by Sebastien Bourdon from circa 1644, currently in the Louvre, Paris. The scene is one of every day life in the temple, Anna and Simeon hold the infant Jesus at the altar, while a figure is looking at the turtle doves they have brought as gifts. The artist, Sebastien Bourdon was born in Montpellier, France. He was initially apprenticed to a painter in Paris but in spite of his poverty he managed to get to Rome in 1636; there he studied the paintings of Nicolas
Poussin, Claude Lorrain and Caravaggio, until he was forced to flee in 1638. Bourdon’s facility rendered him adept at portraiture and landscapes, ruins, mythological and history painting like other members of Poussin’s circle who were working in Rome. In 1652 Christina of Sweden made him her first court painter. Bourdon spent most of his working career outside France, although he was a founding member of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1648. He died in Paris in 1671.