There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day.
At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The second chapter of Luke contains the account of the birth of Jesus and the only glimpse we get into his childhood in the Gospels. Here we are introduced to Anna, who we are told was an octogenarian prophetess who spent her life in the temple, devout with prayer and fasting, after losing her husband at a young age. Anna is rewarded for her lifelong faith by being able to spread the word about Jesus as the Messiah for all those waiting for the Savior and redemption. As an elderly woman who had experienced hardship, disappointment, and a lifetime of wisdom and experience, it would be easy to grow cynical and doubtful about whether the Messiah would ever come. Anna remained hopeful and steadfast and thus when she was blessed to know of Jesus’ arrival, she earned her gift to be able to spread the Good News.
—John LaMantia is a graduate of Fordham University and Saint Ignatius College Prep who is a trial attorney in the service of others. He is on the JFAN Chicago board for the Midwest Jesuits and continues to provide his four children with a Jesuit high school and college education.
Lord, no matter our age, experience, or station in life, help us to keep our hearts and minds open and enthusiastic to hope, faith, and trust in your redemption through Jesus Christ. Stoke the fires within us to keep burning steady and bright to give you thanks, praise and glory.
—John LaMantiaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!