Posted by: livingscripture | December 29, 2017

OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS FRIDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Friday, December 29, 2017 OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS

 

 

WORD of the DAY 

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.  It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.  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, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:  “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”  The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 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 (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.   (Luke 2: 25-35)

How shall I live this Word?

Today, the Liturgy brings us to contemplate the marvelous encounter of the elderly Simeon with Baby Jesus – an elderly man and a baby, the Old and New Testaments, the waiting and the fulfillment. First of all, let us begin by savoring the profound joy of the elderly Simeon, who sees the fulfillment of his long waiting, of those who have finally achieved the purpose of a whole lifetime, not only for themselves, but also for the whole people. Simeon in fact contemplates and welcomes in his arms the Messiah of Israel, the one who brings salvation and light to all: “Now, O Lord, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, because my eyes have seen your salvation, prepared by you before all peoples; light to reveal you to the peoples and glory of your people, Israel “. Notice how the main verb used by Simeon is no longer in the future, as the ancient prophets did, but it is in the past: “my eyes have seen your salvation“.

Another important element to notice is that the Holy Spirit is referred to three times as a determining presence in Simeon.  Without the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to recognize the presence of Jesus.  Simeon sees all, even to the aspect of the suffering that awaits Mary, His Mother.  The Child will be a sign of contradiction, Light that will not be accepted or sought, but will be rejected.  He will be loved and crucified; conquered and victorious.  It is a contradiction that will involve His Mother, like a sword piercing Her heart.

The Voice of the elderly Simeon

Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”  

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