The Gospel According to Luke 2:22-35
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: My own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Reflection: A key phrase in this passage is “guided by the Spirit”. Simeon a holy and righteous man trusted the promise of God that he would not see death until he saw the Messiah. Everyday he lived this trust in God and continued to be open to the promptings of the Spirit. The Scripture readings in the season of Christmas often emphasize how the coming of Jesus was the end point of all the initiatives, which God always placed in the interests of the people he had chosen. And today we’re reminded that much of this benefit was held for the whole world, even the non-Jewish world as well. We are warned not to be complacent. Jesus is not going to force himself on anybody. There will always be the choice – to accept him or to reject him. That spirit of God who all along (according to Simeon) was master of all events has finally in our own day been sent even more directly into the world by the ascended Jesus. In our prayers, we should rely on this Spirit to help us in our choices – and so to bring us to our true, pre-defined destiny.
In my weak times, I always look to our Savior for strength and emotional stability through the prayer of the Holy Spirit. This prayer has always given me a way to begin my conversations as well as calm my spirit so that I can freely and openly be with God. “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of us your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and we shall be created and you shall renew the face of the earth. Amen”.
Action of the Day: How often do we get tired of trusting in God, because things are maybe taking too long, or not as we want it to be? In our prayer today can we commit again to trusting and being open to God, as Simeon did, no matter how things look in our lives?