When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the baby up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God. And they offered a sacrifice as ordered in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
There lived in Jerusalem at this time a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel, and he had been assured by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord. So he was led into the Temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law.
Simeon took the child in his arms and blessed God, saying, “Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for you have fulfilled your word and my eyes have seen your salvation, which you display for all the people to see. Here is the light you will reveal to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.”
His father and mother wondered at what was said about the child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Know this: your son is a sign; a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”
Did you realize that in the text the Holy Spirit appears three times?
First: Simeon was a very upright and devout man and the Holy Spirit was in him.
So, justice and piety, even the expectation of the consolation of Israel, are effects of the Holy Spirit. Similarly for us, virtues and perseverance waiting for the consolation of the Church, are fruits from the Spirit.
Second: It was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not experience death until he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. It was a great interior revelation and promise; for a Jew, the summit of divine graces. Haven’t we also promises and dreams that enlighten us in our Christian life?
Third: Simeon came to the temple inspired by the Spirit and when the parents brought in the child Jesus… he took him in his hands and blessed God. That was the moment of fulfillment. Nobody recognized in this poor couple with a child the “consolation” of Israel. Only the Spirit could disclose the hidden mystery and act in the time of God.
Can we not be attentive to the Spirit’s guidance like the pious Simeon and embrace the Child Jesus in our hands?
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