Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Readings for Today
Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr—Optional Memorial
“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.” Luke 2:29–32
On this, the fifth day of the Octave of Christmas, we are given the witness of the prophet Simeon. This holy man was promised by God by a personal revelation that he would actually see, with his own eyes, the Savior of the World. Throughout his life he would have anticipated this moment. He would have longed for it and hoped for it. And then, one day the moment came. Simeon would have woken up that day, going about his normal routine like any other day. However, the moment that Mary and Joseph brought their newborn Child into the temple, Simeon knew in his heart that this Child was the promised Savior.
His words are powerful. He says, “Lord, now You can let Your servant go in peace…for my eyes have seen the salvation You have prepared…” In other words, Simeon realized that his life was now complete. He was ready to die because he had now been privileged to actually see the Christ. He held Jesus in his arms and gave glory to the Father for this moment.
We should strive to learn from holy Simeon. No, we are not a prophet in the Temple some 2,000 years ago, but we are privileged to see the Christ each day in numerous ways. The Child Simeon held was God indeed. But He was God under the veil of the flesh of a little Child. Simeon, nonetheless, saw Him for who He was and rejoiced.
We must strive to perceive the presence of the Savior all around us and rejoice with Simeon’s joy. Christ is present in every heart that is given to God, every Sacrament of the Church, every reading of the Holy Scripture, and He is especially present to us within our hearts. Our hearts must be that temple in which we discover the presence of the Christ Child and we must take Him into our lives rejoicing in how close He is.
Reflect, today, upon that scene of Simeon taking the Child into his hands and seeing the Savior under the veil of the flesh and bones of this Infant. Seek out Christ in the same way that Simeon did and ponder the many ways that He is present to You. Know that He is near and that He wants to fill your life with His peace.
Lord, I thank You for the great witness of Simeon the Prophet. Thank You for Your fidelity to Simeon in letting him see You as a little Child. May I always imitate his great faith and seek You all my life, waiting for You to come to me in veiled ways so that my heart may rejoice in Your presence. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day – Saint Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr
See also: The Sword of Sorrow
Featured image above: Simeon and Anna Recognize the Lord in Jesus By Rembrandt, via Wikimedia Commons