When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
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.
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.”
And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
These are days I treasure. Our agency is closed, graduate school and opera on break, the days mine to enjoy and fill as I wish. I catch up on books, walks at the lake, movies, time with friends. This is my Christmas, one of nurturing and needed rest.
I pray this time will restore body and soul from the rigors of recent weeks. Pain-filled reality has been laid bare challenging me again ‘to give it all to God.’ The readings today offer images that mirror this time. God’s love has surrounded, sustained and caught me in many unexpected kindnesses and miracles of all shapes and sizes. Waiting for the Savior’s birth and living in his active presence has been my light this Advent and Christmastide. Simeon notes in the temple that this light “reveals you to the nations.” I welcome and celebrate this light that pierced my own darkness.
—Mary Burke-Peterson is a parishioner at St. Nicholas Church, Evanston, an active volunteer in the Ignatian Spirituality Project, and a graduate student at Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University.
Send us your light, O Lord, Loving God.
Nurture new life, Savior of us all!