Our World’s Salvation — February 2 — Presentation of the Lord

Simeon’s eyes looked upon a baby and foresaw our salvation in Him. When we look back today, at the centuries past, we can see that Jesus Christ has indeed been a light for all the nations.

Even if one were to look at Jesus of Nazareth without the eyes of faith, any fair assessment of history must name Him and the Church that He founded as the greatest cause for good in human history. Jesus Christ came and was the light for a darkened world.

For example, in the ancient world, women’s status ranked near that of slaves, but Jesus showed a reverence towards all women, even intimately involving them in His ministry. Christianity noted His example and began to acknowledge women’s dignity and equality as persons.

While the ancient world wielded total dominance over slaves, Christianity professed slaves’ equality as persons before Christ. (In fact, several early popes were former slaves themselves.) Christianity told masters that they would be held accountable at the Judgment for the good or bad treatment of their slaves, for Jesus had said, “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers you do to me.” The abolishment of slavery came gradually, but it finally came as the result of Christians’ efforts in light of Christ.

Infanticide was common in the ancient world. Sometimes the unwanted little one was physically disabled, or female, or merely inconvenient. But Jesus treasured all children, and He said, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” So Christianity renounced infanticide and would later establish orphanages and promote child adoption.

Jesus showed concern for sick persons and healed them. Jesus also feed hungry crowds. So Christianity has established hospitals and soup kitchens. Today, as throughout the centuries, the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization on earth.

An eye for an eye was the ancient law, and hating one’s enemies comes naturally, but Jesus did not seek revenge.  Jesus said, “Love your enemies,” and He prayed for His enemies from the cross. Many Christians have followed His example, promoting peace and reconciliation.

Jesus taught his wisdom to great crowds of men and women, the poor and rich, the young and old, so Christianity established schools and universities. Today the Catholic Church educates more children than any other scholarly or religious institution and you are a part of this number.

Our Marshfield area Catholic schools exist today because of Jesus Christ, the greatest person who has ever lived. The public schools have Jesus to thank for their schools, too, but they are not allowed to speak His name. But we can speak His name, and we can thank Him like Simeon here today, for coming into our darkened world and shining His saving light.

(Recommended viewing:  “Epic” produced by Catholics Come Home )

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