Today is the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple.
Following Jewish custom, the parents of Jesus took Him to the temple, as the first-born boy, to be presented to God.
At the presentation Simeon, an old man who had been waiting for God’s promise of salvation to be realised, came, and took the child in his arms.
He realised, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, that this child is the fulfilment of God’s promise through the prophets.
Jesus challenged people to make a stand for what is good and loving, to come into harmony with God’s plan.
Simeon also predicted that a sword would pierce the heart of Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
Following Jesus, and being associated with Him, was not about being comfortable and having business as usual.
Sometimes Christianity has been used as a tool by some to control people. Some have mistaken it as being mostly part of the status quo.
‘Follow the rules and all will be well’.
There have been attempts to ‘tame’ Jesus and His message.
Sometimes terrible things, that Jesus would have hated, have been done in His name.
Distortions of Christianity have, indeed, been used as ‘an opium of the people’.
Jesus is not a guarantor of the status quo.
He was killed because he challenged the status quo of his time.
Many tyrants, who had some understanding of Christianity over the centuries, including our own time, have banned, or tried to greatly control Christianity, because they felt threatened by it.
In His own way, Jesus is a revolutionary. His revolution is about authentic love, integrity, honesty, the common good, protection of the poor and the oppressed, true respect for the dignity of all.
He is a liberator from the bondage of evil and sin.
Yes, on the one hand truly following Jesus is not easy’; however, he is indeed THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE.