Today’s Gospel reminds us that when it comes to prayer and a healthy spiritual life there’s no such thing as being past your prime. Anna’s married life was short; she spent more of her life as a widow than as a wife, but all those years were full of prayer. As Luke recalls she was a prophetess: she had a special relationship with the Holy Spirit. In the early Church, as the New Testament attests, widows didn’t just receive material support from the Church: they provided invaluable spiritual support. The elderly have a great vocation to prayer and to sharing their wisdom.
Anna spent many years in prayer and expectation, but when the moment came, she didn’t shy away from giving witness as well. She was attentive to the signs of the times, helped by the Holy Spirit, and she saw that the time of redemption was at hand. Just as Simeon yesterday rejoiced at the sight of the Christ, Anna wants to spread the good news that the Messiah has come.
You’re never too young nor too old for a life of prayer and a mission of giving witness to Christ. As the year draws to a close, spend some quiet time with Our Lord to see how you can draw closer to him in prayer and give witness to him.
Readings: 1 John 2:12–17; Psalm 96:7–10; Luke 2:36–40.