The Gospel according to Luke (2:22-35)
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they 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 Messiah 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: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for 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.”
In a world and time where we get most of what we want in a fraction of time we have grown increasingly impatient. We have 24/7 access to news and information. We can purchase almost anything with the click of a mouse or tap on our phone and receive it within hours without leaving the comfort of our home. We lack for just about nothing when it comes to visual entertainment. As a result, we are no longer accustomed to the slower pace required when we wait for something we want or need.
In today’s gospel Simeon was not waiting for something, he was waiting for someone. In fact, he was part of a heritage, a people who had been waiting for that special someone for many generations. His patience was rewarded when the Holy Spirit assured him he would see the promised one, the Christ of the Lord before he died. And even then he was not sure when.
Imagine looking day after day for the one. What would he look like? Would he be young or old, tall or short? These are the practical questions of the human mind but would not help find who he was looking for. It was through the light of the Holy Spirit that he was able to recognize the savior of the world. Can you imagine his joy when he realized that the baby brought to the temple by Mary and Joseph was the one that not only he was waiting for but an entire people.
Are we able to recognize the presence of Jesus in our lives or are we preoccupied by the constant and persistent distractions of this world. It is up to us to manage the pull of temporary, temporal satisfaction and search for the deeper promptings of the Holy Spirit. This requires the virtue of patience in order to allow the light to overcome the darkness. We can do this because we have and always will be children of the light and darkness shall not overcome the light.
Action of the Day:
Are we part of the culture that cannot be without a device that occupies way too much of our time and attention? If so, take some time, make some time to refocus, redirect our precious, limited self and spend more time with people. Choose a conversation over a video, or social media. Connect with the giver of all good gifts and do likewise with another soul. The Holy Spirit will light the way.