FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
December 29, 2018
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,
light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”
(Luke 2: 25-32)
How shall I live this Word?
The Holy Spirit is upon Simeon, as upon all the prophets. The Spirit guides him, fulfills His promises, leads him to meet Jesus and Simeon can take Him in his arms. Simeon is the man who has reached spiritual maturity, ready to encounter, able to turn his gaze on the face of God. The Spirit allows him to recognize the Christ, the Lord in that Child, even if weak and fragile. Simeon does not ask questions about why he meets God in that way but encountering His gaze he recognizes Him and with humility and simplicity he welcomes Him into his arms. Simeon had not doubted that he welcomed God in that child: this is why he encounters Him.
Lord Jesus, let our mind and our heart not be weighed down by reasoning and thoughts that do not allow us to encounter You and lead our sisters and brothers to encounter you as well.
The Voice of Pope Francis, feast of the Presentation 2016
The feast of the Presentation, especially in the East, is called the feast of the encounter. In fact, in the Gospel that has been proclaimed, we see various meetings (cf. Lk 2: 22-40). In the temple Jesus comes to meet us and we go to meet Him. We contemplate the meeting with the old Simeon, who represents the faithful expectation of Israel and the exultation of the heart for the fulfillment of the ancient promises. … We can see in this is the beginning of the consecrated life. Consecrated persons are called above all to be men and women of the encounter. The vocation, in fact, does not start from one of our projects but from a grace of the Lord that reaches us through an encounter that changes life. Those who truly meet Jesus cannot remain the same as before. He is the novelty that makes all things new. Those who live this encounter become a witness and make the encounter possible for others; and it also promotes the culture of encounter, avoiding the self-referencing that makes us remain closed in ourselves.
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
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Comment by Sr. Monica Gianoli, FMA