A reading from the gospel according to Luke 2:22-40:
22 When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,
23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
24 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.
26 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.
27 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,
28 he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
29 “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
34 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
35 (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
38 And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
40 The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Mary and Joseph brought the Child Jesus to be presented to the Lord as prescribed in Exodus 13:2. They were devoted Jews, faithfully obeying every precept of the laws of Moses (Leviticus 12:3-8). They believe in the scripture when it says that obedience is better than sacrifice. Although both of them knew that the child Jesus is the Savior of mankind because Angel Gabriel told them, they did not consider themselves as special nor asked for special treatment.
The Holy Spirit was with Simeon and he was able to recognize the Child as the savior of the world. He was righteous and devout and he was privileged indeed to be able to see the savior with his own two eyes. There was also Anna, a widow who spent night and days worshipping God through fasting and prayer. She too was privileged to see the savior. Such is the power of the Holy Spirit. It gives those who receive Him the ability to recognize the presence of the Lord. Like Simeon and Anna, may we receive the power of the Holy Spirit to discern God’s presence everywhere and in any situation.
Both Simeon and Anna were living in anticipation, patiently awaiting the coming consolation and redemption of Israel. In preparation for that special moment of meeting the savior, they strived to live in holiness. Jesus has ascended into heaven but He promised that He will come again in glory. May we continue to patiently await in joyful hope His coming again. In the meantime, we may spend each moment in love and peace.
Like Simeon and Anna, may we all look forward with hope and patience to the consolation and full redemption of the world even as we remember the amazing things that God has already done in our lives. Like the prophets, let us praise and thank God, our Father, because in faith, we have seen our salvation through His son Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, let us present ourselves to God through fasting and prayer as we strive to live a holy life. For parents, consecrate your children to God early in their life so that God will bless them and that your whole family, like the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, will grow in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and with men.
Very Good Reflection. Thank You.