Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord
In contrast to those from Nazareth who misjudge Jesus, Simeon stands as perhaps the first person in the Gospels (aside from Mary and Joseph) who truly recognizes Jesus for who He is. Directing his prayer to God, Simeon thanks the Lord for the grace to see “your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” (Lk 2:30-32) This is the testimony of someone who truly has given his whole mind over to the Lord, so that he can recognize the Lord of glory in this little infant.
The prophet Malachi promised the sudden coming of the Lord whom people sought. Yet, he asks, “Who can endure the day of His coming? Or who shall stand firm when He appears?” (Mal 3:2
) This is the question of one who foresees that the Lord will not be easily recognized. Our minds and hearts prefer to look for those who will allow us to stand firm, to maintain our own positions and stances. Yet, Simeon recognizes that the Lord of glory does not leave unchanged those whom He encounters. “This child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel.” (Luke 2:34
) Those who refused to recognize the Lord were certainly going to have a change from their stance of pride, and those more humble were certainly going to be raised by the truth they recognized. Let us pray that we do not shut our eyes to the Light that Christ is, but rather that we turn our thoughts to Him throughout our day. May such contemplation not allow us to stand simply as we are, but urge us on to greater heights of charity.
February 2nd, 2017