Saturday, July 29, 2006


A Reflection on Simeon, the Man who Waited for Jesus
Jesus was circumcised and then taken to the Temple by His parents for the purification. They met Simeon.

Simeon, Luke calls you righteous and devout; the Holy Spirit was with you. What were you like? You must have really been hungry for the coming of the Lord. You were so hungry and prayerful that God filled you. He had promised you'd see Jesus. What a faithful, holy prayerful man you must have been. Hungry yet patient. You lived such a good obedient life God promised you Jesus. You were one of God's extra-ordinary people, Simeon. You made God smile. You must have perservered in your prayer...maybe you were just stubborn! Or were you just so simply good and faithful that God offered you this gift? How excited you must have been when you sensed Jesus was coming.
It might have happened before - you thought he was coming but it wasn't really him. This time the urging is stronger. You get excited and hopeful. Is this the One? Is this really Him? You went to the Temle, prayed and waited. How long did you wait? Did it feel like forever? Did you feel unworthy? Did you straighten up the Temple? Fix your hair and robes? Then, did you finally calm down and wait?
As soon as Mary and Joseph brought the baby in, you knew! I bet they hardly got one sentence out. Did they lookl ike you thought they'd look? Poorer than you'd imagined? Simpler? Younger? You reached for the baby Jesus. You reached and Mary handed him to you. You must have been elated. You knew, really knew this was Jesus. I imagine you lifting Him up to God, His Father. Your heart must have been singing! Holding Jesus, the Savior. Did it confuse you that He was just a normal baby? Or did this miracle just fall in line with other ways God worked in your life? Finally you hold the baby near to your heart. What a sacred moment! All your hunger, fulfilled. All your longings met. All your fears calmed. What a picture that must have been. Simeon holding the baby Jesus, the Savior of the world. Jesus may have looked like a normal baby at that moment, but Simeon, how your eyes must have danced. Your body was elated. What a precious Sacred site. No words are in the Scriptures to describe this moment...its an intimate union of hearts. You are silent holding the baby Savior Jesus for a while. I can feel your elation, comfort and deep peace. Then you pray, "Now Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace."
We must also reflect on the fact that Simeon was the first one to predict the death of Jesus. Simeon told Mary that her own heart would be pierced. As any mother identifies with and feels her child's pain, Simeon said Mary would experience the pain her son Jesus endured. Anyone who truly identifies with Jesus and shares in his mission can and should expect to experience suffering. The less you identify with him, the less you share in his suffering.

Do you anticipate seeing Jesus during your daily life as much as Simeon did?
Have you recognized his presence in your life? Are you as fulfilled by that presence as Simeon was?

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