February 2, 2021
The Presentation of the Lord
Refined by Challenge
For he is like the refiner’s fire…
Malachi 3:2

To refine is to make fine again, to purify. Refining processes may involve fire, certain chemicals or a machinery using centrifugal force to strain out impurities. Human refinement usually means discomfort, even pain!

Much of our collective anxiety with the COVID-19 pandemic concerned the unknown. Would our lives ever look like they had before the virus? Many surmised there was no going back to the past. The civil unrest that erupted marked the need for fundamental changes in the way we live together.

The medieval years of plague were followed by the Italian Renaissance that spread through Europe…a flowering of culture and a yearning to return to ancient wisdom. Individuals strove to be widely educated, to reach the pinnacle of what it meant to be human.

How have the challenges and hardships of the pandemic and its resulting changes caused you to be “refined”?Jennifer Christ

- Jennifer Christ

Malachi3:1-4 • Psalm 24:7-10 Hebrews 2:14-18 • Luke 2:22-40

Comments

February 2, 2021 at 02:20 PM

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalm 118:24 ***I have experienced my God Who is both humorous and funny, I hope these will bring you laughters: *1)The Philistines and the Ark of the covenant (1 Samuel 5) *2)The man who ran away naked (Mark 14:51-52) *3)The deadly sermon (Acts 20:7-12) *4)The people who had too much fish (Numbers 11: 1-20) *5)The sarcastic prophet (1 Kings 18:17-40) *6)Last request of an aged Priest...https://www.kentuckyhunting.net/threads/last-request-of-an-aged-priest.168032/ *7)Democrats Vote To Reinstate Trump As President...https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-reinstated-as-president-to-make-sure-impeachment-trial-is-constitutional

February 2, 2021 at 01:54 PM

Peace and prayers for everyone.

February 2, 2021 at 01:01 PM

This is a place for reflection and prayer, to render to God what is God's. Keep Caesar out of it, please!

mike maze
February 3, 2021 at 08:29 AM

Agreed thanks!

Tillie
February 2, 2021 at 08:10 PM

Maggie May, Thank you for your comment. I agree with you that LFF is a place for reflection, prayer, it is a place where we can treat each other with respect, dignity and to love one another as Jesus has commanded us to do. I know that you meant "Keep Caesar (politics) out of it, please!" Render to God what is God's. God Bless You!

Salina
February 2, 2021 at 02:04 PM

"When Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” (Matthew 22:21, He was drawing a sharp distinction between two kingdoms. There is a kingdom of this world, and Caesar holds power over it. But there is another kingdom, not of this world, and Jesus is King of that (John 18:36). Christians are part of BOTH kingdoms, at least temporarily." Quoted from https://www.gotquestions.org/render-to-Caesar.html ***Jesus' prayer for us before He went to the cross in John 17:14-15, "I (Jesus) have given them Your Word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one!" ***I relate to this LFFamily not just for reflection and prayer as I share ALL of me, my physical, mental and spiritual life: good, bad or ugly! I appreciate all those who do including those I disagree with. Different strokes for different folks! And I only have control over myself and no one else as God is in control of ALL :-) I turn off the TV when I don't want to be distracted by the news. I DVR TV shows becasue I don't like to waste time to watch the commercials. I have to read God's Word first thing everyday to ground me because I am easily distracted by the world. *I don't like the "cancel culture" :-( I would LOVE to have non-Christians who don't know how to reflect or pray to come to this site covered by our prayers :-)

February 2, 2021 at 12:52 PM

Amen.

February 2, 2021 at 12:31 PM

I love Simeon's prayer in Luke 2:29-32, "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to Your Word, for my eyes have seen Your Salvation, which You prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for Your people Israel.” *What was the source of his prayer? Luke 2:25c-26, "the Holy Spirit was upon him (Simeon). It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord." *Even Joseph and Mary were amazed (surprised) by what Simeon said in Luke 2:33, "The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about Him (Jesus)!" *So it is with me...I am ready to die at any time at any place under any circumstance as Simeon prayed! Why? Because I have seen God's Salvation for I have met my Lord and Savior Jesus personally :-) ***How about you? Have you met Jesus and seen His Salvation? Are you ready to die? ***Salvation by Skillet https://youtu.be/u9sz9bsrx2s

February 2, 2021 at 09:56 AM

As a Canadian mother of four adult children and blessed with one grandchild, thus far, I have been retired for the past 7 years. This "retirement" came too early for me in the midst of a teacher career of which I felt most passionate. However a car accident changed my plans and after a year or so of feeling sorry for myself and on-going physiotherapy to this day I am delighted to share with you that I have learned so much from this time of being forced to stay home. And now I am witnessing others going through the same growth and change in awareness. Without our consent many of our freedoms to choose have diminished. And we resent that at first, constantly referring to pre-pandemic days. Gradually we find a shared commonality in addressing ways to live with technology and creativity. I found a sense of belonging with all those who were attempting to keep everyone around them safe, not only from the virus, but from the real suffering of loneliness and despair. The focus of my family and dear friends has been on enhancing and maintaining our relationships, socially distanced and through technology. There has been a palpable infusion of the Spirit in my own relationship with my husband, who has had to work from home frequently. So many folks have lost family and friends during this time. I will not let their loss be in vain. Their loss could easily be mine...or yours. Go with love and peace, knowing that God is with us. All He asks of us is to love Him, and one another.

Tillie
February 2, 2021 at 08:17 PM

Cindy A, thank you for your comment. Beautifully said.

Pam
February 2, 2021 at 11:39 AM

Wow Cindy! That went right to my heart! And, I got excited because it brought back the words today from the Seconding Reading from the Book of Hebrews (which means that the words found my heart!) ~ "Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested." Yes, to be a good and humble witness is my prayer. God Bless us all, and all who we Love!

February 2, 2021 at 09:32 AM

After reflecting on many of the comments here today, I am going to take a totally different direction with my reflection and stay focused on celebration of the presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the temple. The 4th Joyful mystery. The fulfillment of the promise of God to Simeon, Anna and all of us who believe. For my eyes have seen your salvation, a light for all peoples not just for some, but for all to see. Also, included in Simeon's excitement was reality, in the form of a awakening statement for all of us to hear. "Behold this child is destined for the fall and rise of many" in Israel and really throughout the entire world. Many will rise up and believe and many will harden their hearts, I am afraid. Today if you hear his voice as you draw nearer to him, harden not your hearts, but let his presentation to us, yes us, to take hold and not be wasted. Let the power of the Holy Spirit fill our minds, hearts and souls, like Simeon, the anticipation of our Lord Jesus Christ coming into our lives, like a beacon of light shining forth. Let us put God first in our lives, so that we may come to know him better. This way we will be able to share his light, his presentation with others in our own lives. Lastly, when we offer ourselves to the Father in the hands of our blessed mother Mary, we can be sure it is pleasing and acceptable to our Lord. This day, spend some time with our blessed mother Mary in the Rosary. There is no better way to walk in the same steps that Jesus walked during his life, than to participate in the blessed rosary. There we can walk step by step, through the life of our savior Jesus Christ. Prayers for all of our Living Faith Family, for those who have no one to pray for them and for all of the souls in Purgatory, that they too may see the face of God today in Heaven. Amen.

EM
February 2, 2021 at 06:55 PM

Amen Tim. Beautifully said as always. Prayers for all.

Tillie
February 2, 2021 at 06:06 PM

Tim, thank you for your comment, taking a different approach and for always keeping Living Faith Family a place for reflection and prayer. I always enjoy reading your comments, they're so insightful and there is always a lot to learn from them.

david
February 2, 2021 at 05:07 PM

"Let us put God first in our lives, so that we may come to know him better." I really like your message it always help's me to remember what is most important in my life.

February 2, 2021 at 08:31 AM

Sorry for the errors. I sometimes don’t edit. Hello captain obvious!

February 2, 2021 at 08:28 AM

I believe that you are both right. Satan has certainly been alive and well in this whole pandemic; weather in the Chinese coronavirus itself and definitely in the people we tried for four years to destroy our president. However, I also believe in Romans 8:28 But in all things God works for the good of those who love him and I have been called according to his purpose. Something good will come out of this time that we have sheltered and been able to contemplate what is important in our lives.

Sham Peter Narine Respond to comment
February 2, 2021 at 08:13 AM

Thanks Jennifer for today's devotion. Before the pandemic we are all so busy, pursuing one thing after another, so much so we have no time to develop deep and inter-personal relationships with our loved ones. This superficial lifestyle also affects our relationship with God. We may not pray deeply but just say our prayers without thinking or interiorizing. When we pray our minds are far away from God, our hearts are not with him. We are not present to each other, whether with our fellowmen or with God. Prayer for all living faith family members. Have a blessed day everyone.

Tillie
February 2, 2021 at 06:10 PM

Amen! Sham Peter Narine.

February 2, 2021 at 08:10 AM

We can either choose to find the good in our lives or be angry. This pandemic has brought my family closer!

Steve
February 5, 2021 at 08:22 AM

I'm Glad it has brought your family together. It tells me you are like minded family. That's a rare blessing. you should rejoice in that. However not all families think alike. or share the same politics, that would be scary, communism is just that.. conforming all to think alike. Jesus came not to bring everyone together but to show evil vs good and to bring those to salvation if they chose. I stand with the prince of peace not with the father of lies. I trust your fine family stands with Jesus who is truth. God Bless.

February 2, 2021 at 07:54 AM

The pandemic has caused me to count and appreciate the many blessings I take for granted. It has carved time for me to pray and strengthened my relationship with God. It has brought me closer to neighbors with whom I have shared food, time, joys, and sorrows. It has connected me through technology with many people who live far from me, but I have not communicated with for a long time. We all had more time to connect. Just as other difficult times have given me a glimpse into the Paschal Mystery, the pandemic has deepened my faith in God.

Tillie
February 2, 2021 at 08:20 PM

Amen!

February 2, 2021 at 07:35 AM

I don't see much refinement in anybody I think this plandemic Was all designed by communist China To destroy a great president of the United States And has destroyed many lives Created many suicides And many people to be in despair

mike maze
February 3, 2021 at 08:31 AM

Salina Shure sounds like your looking for attention!

Tillie
February 2, 2021 at 08:22 PM

Amen JO!

Gayle
February 2, 2021 at 10:28 AM

The refining comes in our hearts. I agree with you but we always remember He who is in me is great than he who is the world. Gods will be done.

Salina
February 2, 2021 at 09:41 AM

***If I believe, I reconize that the only good in me has been produced by God and His glory. I quit trying to earn God's favor and rest in His finished work of Christ! ***If I don't believe, I try to earn God's favor by being "good enough" which is not possible. I never know if I have done enough or performed well enough to be accepted by God!***

Dolores
February 2, 2021 at 09:31 AM

I agree with Steve and also with Anne’s response. I keep praying.

Salina
February 2, 2021 at 09:30 AM

This week in BSF, we learn that God is SOVEREIGN! ***It means God controls all things. There is nothing that is outside of God's wise control, even the exact time and place for each person to live. No one tells God what to do. What God plans, happens. No event, no natural disaster, no person, not even satan, (not a pandemic), can stop God's plans. When God permits evil, we can trust He has planned to use it for His people's good and His glory. God planned the time for His Son to come the first time and a time for His Son to return. God will accomplish His plan because He alone has power to do it.*** *To give credit to anyone or complain about anything or anyone for what happened, what is happening or what will happen is to ignore or reject God's sovereignty and give credit to the evil ones :-( *Here is the summary for this week's lesson in Genesis 27: Jacob took Esau's blessing by deceiving Isaac. Esau's murderous response forced Jacob to flee. God could use a flawed family and sinful people in His plan because of Who He is. His plan for saving the world did not depend on human works!!! *He is doing the same today, use whosoever flawed and sinful to accomplish His plan and His purposes! So let's relax, God's got this :-)

mike maze
February 2, 2021 at 08:26 AM

If you believe all that, your in need of refinement!

Anne
February 2, 2021 at 08:10 AM

I agree Steve but we must seek out God in every situation. we need to pray harder to God, Mary, and all the saints for guidance and direction. We must put on Christian Armour and fight for God and our country Stay Strong and know that God will always win over evil

azmom4
February 2, 2021 at 08:04 AM

I agree Steve. There’s no way to really prove it, but it makes no sense unless you see it as a Chinese/ Global elite plan to destroy the United States. However, God always wins in the end. We are definitely going through a refining fire with much more to come. We must pray and stay close to God, Mary, Joseph, and all the angels and saints. God bless!

Sandy
February 2, 2021 at 08:00 AM

I agree Steve. Part of the plan was to remove our religion from us and keep our children away from schools. The devil has infiltrated our lives more than we know. It is time to bring God back into our lives and let the Savior save us! What a sad and devastating calamity we have allowed. Our Blessed Mother is the patron saint of our country- how unworthy we are!

Jo
February 2, 2021 at 07:59 AM

Not true! We have all learned to adapt, to do things differently, to spend more time home and perhaps in prayer… We have changed hopefully for the better! I would hope we would be more compassionate now than before the pandemic! We have learned more about ourselves and are more willing now to do things a little different than before. Let us always hold on to hope and know that God is with us even in this pandemic! Let us believe That the Lord holds us in the palm of his hand and teaches us and guides us through this life until we will come at last into eternal life! Life is still good even in the midst of the pandemic for those who believe in God and trust in his divine mercy. Amen!

STAY CONNECTED

Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

Latest Tweets

Most popular devotions

Receive a free reflection for Sundays every week via email

About Living Faith Living Faith Foundation Privacy Policy Questions & Answers Contact Us

© 2021 Creative Communications for the Parish, a division of Bayard, lnc. All Rights Reserved.