Today’s feast of the Presentation of the Lord marks 40 days since Christmas and goes back to very early days of Christianity. First celebrated in the Eastern Churches as The Encounter, and later in the Western Church as Candlemas, we are reminded today of epiphanies, of the many ways Christ is revealed as the light of salvation for all.

How have I encountered Jesus in the past six weeks?  In the ripe smell of the many homeless taking refuge from the cold on the El;  in an NPR audio-diary entry of a physician sharing his experiences with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone; worshiping with a diverse community gathered for Sunday Eucharist…?

And how has Jesus encountered me?  Lending a listening ear to a friend; clearing the snow from a neighbor’s car; sending a condolence card to someone we know who just lost a loved one…?

Time flies, as the saying goes, whether you are having fun or not; yet every moment holds the possibility of an encounter with Jesus. There are six more weeks of winter for us in the northern hemisphere, whether the groundhog sees his shadow today or not. Six more weeks until the hours and minutes of daylight outnumber the dark. How can we continue to be attentive to encounters with Christ?

—Jenéne Francis, is Provincial Assistant for Pastoral Ministries, Chicago-Detroit Province and Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus