Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (2: 36-40) in which the prophetess, Anna, who came across Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus in the temple and began to praise God. She spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
Fr Paul says, in today’s Gospel we are introduced to Anna, an 84-year-old prophetess who is constantly in the Temple praying and fasting. Like Simeon, who we heard of yesterday, she too recognises Jesus and she, too, praises God. Anna reminds Fr Paul of all those men and women who have and continue to devote themselves constantly to prayer and the work of the Church, making sure that everything is ready, everything is set up, everything is clean, everything is organised. Without volunteers, readers, extraordinary ministers of Communion, altar servers… the list goes on… without these Annas among us, without these good people, the Church could simply not function. Mindful of this, mindful of Simeon yesterday and Anna today recognising Jesus and giving praise to God, Fr Paul says, we might ask ourselves ‘Do I recognise Jesus in those around me?’