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Ever-Hopeful Anna

Ever-Hopeful Anna

Anna is the last character to feature in the Gospel of the Presentation of Our Lord at the Temple and is even cut off in the abbreviated version of the Gospel.  Here are her verses:


There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.

The age of eighty-four is a good innings now but must have been so much more remarkable then.  Assuming she’d married at the (then) normal age, she would have been fairly young when widowed and lived in that state for for most of her life.  Her experiences had not hardened her heart, though.  She must have had great trust in God and certainly lived with a lively Hope within her.

How did she manage to keep the flame of Hope ablaze through all those years?  Presumably through maintaining a solid prayer life.  I do hold a certain admiration for those who evidently have a great faith and deep prayer life but who do not have Sacramental Grace – it must be so much harder!   And yet here is Anna, who in 84 years never stepped away from her solid relationship with her Lord, but lived in constant, deep trust and joyful hope, awaiting the coming of the Saviour.

We, who live in anno Domini nostri Jesu, have so much more to be joyful about; we have even more reason to trust and to hope.  Let us learn from Anna and resolve each day to praise God and to speak of the Child.


For more on the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas) see here

For more on Anna, see here.


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