In Today’s Gospel we hear about how Jesus was known already to Simeon
My eyes have seen your salvation
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now Master you can let your servant go in peace just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.’
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
There was a prophetess also Anna the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required they went back to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.
Introductory Prayer: Jesus, you were a small child in your Mother’s arms. You were a baby who needed the protection of Joseph. You felt their goodness and love. Today I want to celebrate this love of your family. I want to enter into this love and bring it also to my own family. I believe and trust that you will help me in this.
Petition: Lord, help me discover the wonders of the love of the Holy Family.
1. The Bridegroom Is with You: Our God is a God of love. A family participates in this love because God is the source of the love that draws them together. The love that is so spontaneous, as well as so sacrificial, in a family shows the presence of Christ’s love. Jesus makes this love spring forth. It is homage to his Father and homage to his love for us. Am I aware of Christ’s loving presence in my family? Do I strive to collaborate with his love?
2. Family and Covenant: A family is fruit of a covenant, and God is part of this covenant. God has always wanted to make man part of his family, beginning with Adam and Eve. The Holy Family demonstrates the definitive covenant of God’s love for each of us. They live it with wonder and, like Abraham, they put their faith totally in God, bonding themselves totally to his will and to his love. They play their parts in the working of God’s plan, and God will keep his promise to them, making them providential collaborators in his plan of salvation. We can be sure of God’s faithful love in the family. We can be sure that he is working his plan of salvation with faithfulness. Do I strive for unity in my family by living supernatural charity?
3. Spiritual Inheritance: The Holy Family is a source of blessing. My family is also a source of blessing, even though moments of sorrow are bound to happen. When I live with faith my role in the family, I help to bring these blessings on the world. Often it is the example of Christian families that attracts others to the faith. Often the most powerful apostles, whether lay or consecrated persons, are fruit of the strong faith that is lived in the family. A family should not be closed in on itself; like the Holy Family, it has a mission. It must promote God’s message in the world through example and action. Do I give example to the members of my family? Do I strive to be an apostle both inside and outside the home?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for sanctifying family life by your presence. I want to discover you more in my family and those around me. Help me to accompany my loved ones in their moments of both joy and sorrow. You are with us, Lord. Help us to be your apostles.
Resolution: I will take a moment to listen attentively to and speak with a member of my family who may not have received much attention from me recently.