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 Christ 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:
“Lord, now let your servant go in peace;
your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you prepared in the sight of every people,
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.” (Lk 2:25-32)
As we continue the Octave of Christmas, we reflect upon Jesus’ presentation in the temple. This was a very essential rite for the Jews as we hear in the Gospel: “When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.” (Lk 2:22-24)
At the temple, two people would see Jesus and make comments: Simeon, and a prophetess named Anna from whom we will hear in tomorrow’s Gospel.
Simeon saw Jesus and realized that He was the fulfillment of a promise made to him. God knew that Simeon was a righteous and holy man and promised him that he would not die until he was able to see the deliverer of his people.
Simeon took Jesus in his arms and spoke a beautiful canticle, one that we use every day in the Liturgy of the Hours when we pray night prayer. Simeon called Jesus a “light to reveal [God] to the nations”.
That is the key point to be made. Jesus did not come for one group of people. Jesus was born for all. He came to set all people free from sin and death. As He has come for all, He challenges us to open our arms up to all as well.
There may be people whom we have excluded from our lives for a variety of reasons. Today might be a good time to evaluate our decision to keep some people out of our lives. If Jesus came for all, who are we to say some do not belong?
FAITH ACTION: As the New Year approaches, think about resolving to include someone in your life whom you have been pushing away.