“And there was a prophetess, Anna… She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day… she began to give thanks to God and to speak of [Jesus] to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:36-38
We know very little about Anna, the prophetess. Luke shares a few brief words about her life in his gospel. But the story he tells is enough to make me want to be like her. When her life took an unexpected turn (widowhood at a young age), she gave herself entirely to God. Devoting herself to worship and prayer, she waited on God’s promises.
In her old age, Anna was blessed to see the infant Jesus, “the redemption of Jerusalem” and, indeed, of the whole world. I imagine her holding him in her arms, looking at the face of the God she had loved her entire life. Her waiting had made her ready to see him — to recognize the King of the universe in his humble disguise, to hear the Word in the cries of a baby who could not yet form a word.
This Christmas, I ask myself: Where does Jesus come humbly to me? Where do I see his face, as Mother Teresa would say, in its “distressing disguise”? Lord Jesus, come quickly, and as we wait, may we learn to recognize where you are and to speak of you to all who are waiting for the redemption of the world.