Christ was recognized by the shepherds, who were among the simplest people. Christ was recognized by the Magi… the very wise, who sought Him from far off. And in today’s Gospel, we see that Christ is recognized by the prophetess Anna.
Anna was a very religious woman… one who had waited for Christ for a long time. In many ways, Anna reminds me of some of our most dedicated Chapel Warriors here at the Saint Pope John Paul the Great Perpetual Adoration Chapel… people who devote themselves day and night to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament here in the Chapel.
What did Anna, the Magi, and the shepherds have in common? For one, they shared a willingness to see Our Lord. They were not blinded by false expectations. Their minds were not darkened by an instance to seek the savior they wanted – not the one they needed.
You see, Israel waited for a warrior king… it had no expectation of a suffering servant. They wanted to have their enemies conquered for them; they were not looking to be given the model for conquering their own passions… their own desires. They wanted others to bend to their will; God wanted to reshape them according to His will.
Many today still seek a personal Jesus who will change others… who will make others more like us. There is no such Jesus. The Jesus we should seek is the one who will change us… who will make us more like Him. And that means letting go and trusting in the Lord… in believing that He knows better than we do what is best and that He will guide us to that.
It is a huge commitment to be an Anna, or a Magi, or a Shepherd. It is a huge commitment to follow the authentic Christ. Any fool can be a Herod or a Scribe and seek a God who will change others. It takes true wisdom and humility to seek a God who brings change to us, first.