Thought of the day
Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Presentation of the Lord - Feast

“My eyes have witnessed your saving deed”

"The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His Temple;" (Mal 3:1) I say, we are today reminded of the noiseless course of God's providence, —His tranquil accomplishment, in the course of nature, of great events long designed; and again, of the suddenness and stillness of His visitations…
Now, there is evidently nothing great or impressive in this (scene); nothing to excite the feelings, or interest the imagination. We know what the world thinks of such a group as I have described. The weak and helpless, whether from age or infancy, it looks upon negligently and passes by. Yet all this that happened was really the solemn fulfilment of an ancient and emphatic prophecy. The infant in arms was the Saviour of the world, the rightful heir, come in disguise of a stranger to visit His own house. The Scripture had said, "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His Temple: but who may abide the day of His coming, and who may stand when He appeareth?" (Mal 3:2) He had now taken possession. And further, the old man who took the child in his arms, had upon him the gifts of the Holy Ghost, had been promised the blessed sight of his Lord before his death, came into the Temple by heavenly guidance, and now had within him thoughts unutterable, of joy, thankfulness, and hope, strangely mixed with awe, fear, painful wonder, and "bitterness of spirit." Anna too, the woman of fourscore and four years, was a prophetess; and the bystanders, to whom she spoke, were the true Israel, who were looking out in faith for the predicted redemption of mankind…
"The glory of this latter House shall be greater than of the former,"(Hag 2:9) was the announcement made in another prophecy. Behold the glory; a little child and his parents, two aged persons, and a congregation without name or memorial. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation." (Lk 17:20)
Such has ever been the manner of His visitations… — silent, sudden, unforeseen, as regards the world, though predicted in the face of all men, and in their measure comprehended and waited for by His true Church… 

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890), 
Cardinal, founder of the Oratory in England, theologian