Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: I John 2:3-11. Psalm 96:1-2.2-3.5-6. Luke 2:22-35:
Hesychius of Jerusalem has written several homilies on this passage of the
Gospel. In Greek the feast is called the Meeting or Hypapante. Simeon is
the one who announces to Mary both the good things that will happen to her
and her child and the sorrowful ones. They meet in the Temple and Simeon
even has the joy of taking the baby Jesus into his arms! The first person
to do so after Joseph and Mary. All who are in the Temple for this
religious ritual of circumcision are blessed with the presence of the Holy
Spirit, hence, they are able to understand the miraculous happenings that
will occur in this child. Simeon will also be inspired to say a Temple
prayer which we now use at Night Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours...It is
called the Nunc Dimittis, Now you dismiss your servant... All who are
gathered around the child are the holy ones, the righteous ones who have
lived in the service of God by observing the precepts of the Lord and even
the religious rituals of their day that normally take place in the Temple.
There is hint that these "little people" are the ones that John has in mind
when he addresses his First Epistle to his community and to us. They
observe the commandments of God and thus "truly the love of God is made
perfect in them." (I John 2:4).
We too experience the gift of the Spirit in our sacraments and in the
liturgies we participate within our churches and chapels. We like Simeon
and Ann sound the depth of this event surrounding the baby Jesus. Like Mary
we ponder over Luke's words within the context of the whole Infancy
Narrative. Heart speaks to heart. Perhaps, we may wish to take a few
minutes this evening to pray with Simeon his inspired prayer:
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 the glory of your people Israel.
With the beauty of Christmas lights on a tree or with a candle lighted, we
can close out this fifth day of Christmas with a great Christmas prayer
inspired by the Holy Spirit in Simeon. Amen.
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