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Considering the way Simeon realized that the baby he held would change the world, Charlene Rack asks: will you allow Him to change your world?   

Holy Mass is such a beautiful and bounteous gift from God. Sometimes, as I sit in Church, I imagine the grace that surrounds us like an invisible, salvific cloud, as we gather together in the Church, with all the signs and symbols of our faith adorning the side chapels and the stained-glass windows telling us stories, while songs of ancient mysteries surround us and pull us deeper into the mystery we live to recall. All of these things, along with the beautiful vestments, the candles, and the traditional responses of all the faithful, direct our thoughts to the altar, where Christ comes to us: Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. We walk forward with all the faithful to receive the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our salvation, and I ask myself, “Does everyone here with me today understand the gift and honor that God bestows upon us during Mass?”

Are we focused, actively working to appreciate and understand this eternal endowment that Christ has given us in the Church? As a convert to the Catholic faith, I have a very acute understanding and gratitude for this gift, and I pray for myself and for those gathered with me, that the depth of this experience will settle deep within our souls. But all too often, I’m distracted by people talking loudly to one another during Mass, or I notice people rushing, sometimes stampede-like, to get out the door immediately after receiving Communion, and I sadly realize, some of the faithful still don’t get it: they’re in too much of a hurry to let it sink in, and they rush out before the final blessing, yet another grace giving moment. It breaks my heart, but I do not judge, because I also fall prey to distraction. My stomach growls, and suddenly I’m planning lunch. I remember that I have very busy week at work, and I feel anxiety rising in my chest. Distraction is one of Satan’s most useful tools, and he knows our weaknesses! But we must do our best and call upon Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to hold us close, reminding us of the everlasting importance of this time we spend in Mass.   

In Ancient Rome, there was one man who knew. He had spent most of his life in the Temple, waiting to experience God’s promise. He, and also the elderly prophetess Anna, were entrenched in the surroundings and traditions of the Temple. They lived in the hope and assurance of their active faith, waiting for the promised Redeemer-to-come. Kept strong by His faithfulness and constant prayer in the Temple, Simeon had no doubt in the promise of a savior whom he would live to see, and he was steadfast in his desire to earn this gift and promise. The thought of “leaving early” never entered his mind.   

As we know, his faith and perseverance paid off, and he was greatly rewarded and filled with joy. It was just another, usual day in the Temple, a day of waiting on God, which was Simeon’s habit and desire ... but then suddenly, he saw them, and he knew! His life’s longing fulfilled in a few other-wordly moments. Imagine the exultation that filled his heart. Imagine the song in his soul.   



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Simeon had no doubt in the promise of a savior whom he would live to see, and he was steadfast in his desire to earn this gift and promise. #CatholicMom


He took the baby in his arms, just as we take Jesus into our very bodies during Holy Eucharist. He is fully present, body, blood, soul and divinity, and He comes to save us, and prepare us for eternity with Him. Will you recognize Him, will your heart sing like Simeon’s, and will you truly embrace the gift of Jesus and his Church, reluctant to walk out the door, wishing you could remain in this state for the rest of your life? Will you find yourself longing to incorporate daily Mass into your schedule more often, because you can no longer go one whole week without receiving the body and blood of Christ. That fateful day, Simeon realized that the baby he held would change the world. Will you allow Him to change your world?   

Make a promise to stay with Simeon in our modern Catholic “temple.”  Rejoice with Simeon, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, rest in the joy of their presence as long as you can, singing with Simeon until the last note, and delighting in the baby who brought salvation down to earth! 



Copyright 2024 Charlene Rack
Images: Grubernst, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons