Simeon, a righteous and devout man of Israel, had received a revelation from the Holy Spirit that before his death he would behold the Messiah, “the Christ of the Lord” (Lk 2:26). We do not know how long Simeon was waiting, we do not know how old he was when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple. How many people had crossed his path, how many times must he have turned his head wondering when a family brought a male child to be presented to the Lord, “Is this the one?”
Today we recall the presentation of Jesus in the temple, the day in which Simeon’s waiting, his growing anticipation, comes to fulfillment. “Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel” (cf. Lk 2:29-32). He can now go to his eternal rest in peace and so can we.
What Simeon said and experienced, when Jesus was presented in the Temple, is still true for us today. Jesus the Christ has come to us, to lead us “out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9), for he is the living Temple, the place where heaven and earth meet, where the divine and human are one.
May we spend some time in prayer today imaging ourselves holding the infant Jesus in our arms, as did Simeon, looking into his eyes, and allowing his smile, his giggle, fill us with his unconditional love and mercy. As we reach up a hand to him and he grasps our finger, may we feel a warmth that radiates through our being that melts away all anxiety, doubt, or fear. May anything that keeps us bound to darkness and sin be loosed such that we feel a freedom of forgiveness that will inspire us, from this moment of experiencing Jesus in our time and place, to give our life to him so that we too may radiate his light, his love, his mercy and forgiveness to others, to anyone Jesus sends us to today.