Eucharistic Readings for the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus
“Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.” (Luke 2:25 – 26)
Here we have an independent story of the Lord’s favor on a person not directly called to a ministry other than contributing to us by sharing his story of revelation, the revelation of grace. This Simeon is only one of a few that the Holy Spirit rested on. His specific identity is not revealed except that he was a righteous and devout man. That’s probably good enough.
Simeon seemed to be a quiet man and Anna who lived in the Temple (unusual for a woman) at prayer continually were both led out to see Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus at the same time. This presence and leadership of the Holy Spirit was at work then and is at work today. But like Simeon and Anna, we have to have our own quiet time in order to receive the message.
“Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”” (Luke 2:27 – 32)
These words resonate with me because they are almost the same as the words found at close of Compline at the top of page 135 of the Book of Common Prayer.
“Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: A Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.” (BCP 135)
Simeon only wanted to know that God was in fact at work in restoring the world as had been promised. God was doing this through Mary, and through Israel and to the world. And still is. I believe this and this is why I always end my page with the invitation to listen for the leadership of the Holy Spirit. God is always doing something new. Do you believe this? If so then:
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John