When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Once again the reality of the calendar crams so much spiritual reality into this Christmas weekend. Today we meet Simeon, a righteous man who had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would not die without seeing the Messiah. Mary and Joseph arrived to present Jesus to the Lord, meeting first Simeon and later Anna. After these encounters, Luke then relates that Mary and Joseph returned with Jesus to Nazareth. where Jesus “grew in size and strength, filled with wisdom….and the grace of God was upon him.”
As the new year 2019 approaches, take time this weekend to flip through your 2018 calendar. Where over the last 12 months was God’s grace strong in your personal life? How was God’s grace active and alive within your family? What personal life experiences do you especially treasure from this past year? How will they influence the way you begin this new year of grace and possibility?
—The Jesuit Prayer team at St. Camillus
For all that has been, thank you. For all that is to come, yes!