Wednesday 30 December 2020

Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 2:36-40


One of the most beautiful and revealing names of Jesus is Emmanuel, literally God is with us. Emmanuel is majestically linked to the words of John when, at the beginning of his Gospel, he announces Jesus as the Word of God who made his dwelling among us (John 1:14)Although Jesus did not receive a warm hospitality from mankind when he was bornhe nevertheless chose to become incarnate for us, to pitch his tent in the middle of our history: God pitched his tent among us, he camped among us. 
Anna, Phanuel's daughter of the tribe of Asher, the eighty-four year old prophetess who spent most of her time in the temple worshiping God night and day with fasting and prayers, arrived precisely at that very time, when Jesus was arriving in his mother's arms. Anna begins to praise God and speaks to everyone with reference to the child as if she has always known him. She explains unknown things, and she makes out in the child's face the fulfillment of every prophecy and expectation. She explains and reveals that God became flesh in that child and pitched his tent, camped here, among us, on this earth, in the hearts of men and of human history. 
Anna, the beautiful grandmother prophetess, takes Jesus in her arms and shows the world the One who will make his dwelling among us forever. Perhaps  it is just a coincidence, but the name Anna, generally thought to be taken from the Hebrew noun chen, "grace, kindness", is, more widely, a translation from the Hebrew verb channàh, "camp, bend, lean" thus Anna literally means The one who campsThe one who camps, who places her tent at God's feet, is the one who welcomes and shows the world the One who, in order to to save and renew humanity, camps and pitches his tent among us.