My thoughts usually turn to the prophet Anna on this day in the liturgical calendar, and I typically write a blog post that bemoans, in one way or another, the fact hat the Scriptural witness – and the tradition on which it is built – do not let Anna speak for herself. Only Simeon is given words, beautiful words.
But today, another and much more recent prophet who also was denied words, and indeed his very life, came to mind. I do not want to let the light of this day pass without holding up his name and memory: He is the Jesuit priest Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, who was executed on this day, February 2, in 1945 in Berlin. Delp was 37 years old. He had resolutely resisted the Nazi regime in his writings and his preaching and his work with the German resistance. And he resisted that genocidal regime to the end, refusing, while already imprisoned, to leave the Jesuit order in exchange for his freedom. His last scribbled notes, when he was condemned to death, do not reflect on the feast of Candlemas and the fact that this became the day of his death, probably because he was unsure when exactly he would be taken to the place of execution. But I trust that at that moment, it will have dawned on him that he too, like Simeon, was to depart in peace and encounter, after the gallows, the Living Light.