This year the “Super Bowl” is being played on February 2nd. Many sports fans will be glued to the television sets to see who will become the Championship team of the National Football League. It has become a day of partying and celebrating in our country as so many people watch and bet on the outcome of the game. Speaking of betting I bet that more food and drink is consumed on Super Bowl Day than on Thanksgiving Day, our national holiday! (Not sure which day has the healthier diet, Super Bowl snacking is often “junk food” and on Thanksgiving Day the turkey isn’t the only one that gets stuffed!) I will be rooting for the San Francisco 49ers in the game over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs only Super Bowl win was in 1969, but I think they will win many more with their current quarterback, but for this year I would like to see San Francisco get back in the winner circle, it has been too long since the championship years of Montana and Young at quarterback.
The Super Bowl marks the end of the long football season, but for me the end of the football season means it is one step closer to “Spring Training” and the beginning of the Baseball season. More than the Groundhog the Super Bowl is the true pointer for me that Spring is just around the corner!
As Church we celebrate each year on February 2nd the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. This feast comes 40 days after Christmas. Many people may not be as familiar with this feast as it doesn’t often fall on a Sunday, but It is one of the Epiphanies of Jesus. Simeon and Anna, two elders who went daily to the Temple, recognized the importance of the event as Mary and Joseph presented their child in the Temple. Simeon as he takes the child into his arms proclaims, “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 sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” Anna too gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. Simeon and Anna recognized in this child our Light and our Salvation!
The road ahead for Mary and Joseph and the child Jesus would not be as easy one as Simeon predicted as he said to Mary, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” But, the road they would take, the road that would lead to Calvary would bring about our redemption and Jesus’ resurrection would allow his light to be with us always through the gift of the Holy Spirit. So while the Groundhog Day tells us of the coming of Spring, the Presentation of the Lord, coming 40 days after Jesus’s birth, foreshadows for us the death and resurrection of Christ and the victory he has won for us. As we journey in our lives may we always allow the gift Jesus has left us enlighten our way. May we grow each day in our relationship with the Holy Spirit and present ourselves to God so that the love of Jesus may be manifested in our lives.