29th December

“Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ’Look, he is destined for the fall and the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign of division- and a sword will pierce your soul too.”
Tuesday 24 November 2015

1 Jn.2,3-11 Ps.95 Lk.2,22-35

29th December

“Now, in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man, he looked forward to the restoration of Israel and the Holy Spirit rested upon him.”

In the Son of God’s eternal ’today’, the former Covenant of the time of the king David receives its full accomplishment. As the Gospel relates, the Child Jesus is presented to the Temple by his parents, so as to accomplish the former Law : ’Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord-observing what is written in the Law of the Lord : Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord’. “The child Jesus leaves the time of his birth and family intimacy to enter into the men’s society and to be recognised by it. He is already showing us the way of Salvation. He, the Only Son, is showing us what true life is. This scene from the gospel is showing us two aspects that are full of meaning for our existence. The elderly Simeon, moved by the Holy Sprit, is waiting for the consolation of Israel : ’It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord.’ He patiently waits in secret for the consolation of Israel and he waits with confidence. Moved by the law of Moses Mary accomplishes the ancient Law : ’When the day came for them to be purified in keeping with the law of Moses’. We are at the joint of the two testaments with the birth of Jesus the Gift of God is given to our world. ’They came to offer in sacrifice, in accordance to what is prescribed in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two pigeons.’”Simon took the child in his arms and he said : ’Now Master you can let your servant go in peace as you promised., for my eyes have seen your salvation!"

In order to live what is exceptional from God, we need to live out our daily life. Without respecting the liturgical life, Mary and Joseph would not have been able to encounter Simeon and receive this recognition.We cannot take a hold of newness, which is a paradoxical attitude in the background of a living tradition. This alone opens up for us true life. In her own flesh, Mary received

the Eternal Son of the Father, and it is the Holy Spirit Himself who shows to Simeon what is fitting . He foresees the hardships and sorrows of Mary in her people : ’Look, he is destined for the fall and rise of so many in Israel, destined to be a sign that divides- and a sword will pierce your soul too- so that the secret thoughts of many will be laid bare.’ Soon Simeon is going to leave this world of obscurity to enter into the vision of eternal Light :

’Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace as you promised, for my eyes have seen the salvation which u have made ready in the sight of the nations; a light of revelation for the gentiles and glory for your people Israel.“This elderly man grasps the beauty of this mystery proposed to this little child. His heart is warned of the path of sorrow which will be that of the mother and child . ’The child’s mother and father were wondering about the things that were said of Him.’”It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord."

After blessing them, Simeon says to Mary his mother, using a double speech, one of exaltation that he will be ’Light of revelation for the gentiles and glory for your people Israel’ and at the same time, he predicts about them having to go through dereliction : ’He will be a sign of division.’

This good that is produced when one conciliates welcome and openness, exaltation and lowliness leads to salvation and opens the whole of humanity up to love and humility : ’Now you can let your servant go in peace for he has seen Salvation.’

We are learning from the tiny little Jesus and, through Him, we learn from the little ones and from the poor. We consider Mary and Joseph attentive to what is being said, this confirms the gift of God : - To be attentive to the demands of the First testament in humility, -respect the Blessing of the Gift of God. This is a lovely balance that comes from God, for we are the Temple of God in the Holy Spirit. Let us be attentive to the former man in us who dies so that the new man is born throughout all of our being. In this way, we shall be the new prophets who announce to the whole world the Presence of God, three times Holy : Father, Son and Holy Spirit! The Blessing of God is given by the Holy Spirit, we receive Jesus in us and we ask Mary to intercede for us next to her

Son ,so that we may be prophets like the upright and devout man on whom the Holy Spirit rested at the time of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.

We ask God for the grace of gentleness and humility so as to place ourselves at the school of the Holy Spirit.