"a certain prophetess"
"There was also a certain prophetess, Anna by name, daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher." —Luke 2:36
Anna is probably the most unnoticed person of the first Christmas. When we think of Christmas, we remember Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men. Some people recall Herod, the Holy Innocents, and even Simeon. But who thinks of Anna, an old widow "constantly in the temple, worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer"? (Lk 2:37)
The life of Anna proclaims that life in Christ is worshiping Him in Spirit and truth (Jn 4:23) through prayer and fasting (Lk 2:37). The life of Anna proclaims that life is to be an act of thanksgiving, a "eucharist." Anna witnesses to the life of evangelization, as we talk about the Christ Child to all who look forward to their deliverance (Lk 2:38).
Why is the prophetic witness of Anna often overlooked? Possibly Anna's life is giving us more truth than we want to hear. Maybe Anna gives us so true a meaning of Christmas that our Christmas celebrations show up for what they really are and are not.
This Christmas season, learn about Christmas, Christ, and life. Learn from an old woman, a prophetess. Learn from Anna.
Prayer: Father, this Christmas, teach me how to live.
Promise: "Have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords. If anyone loves the world, the Father's love has no place in him." —1 Jn 2:15
Praise: Valerie gave up a successful ministry of Scripture teaching and evangelization to care full- time for her aged mother.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Seek Prophecy.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, June 20, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 1996