Lk 2: 22-35
Today didn't start off special, really. It was required by the Law of Moses that a woman had to be purified after giving birth. For the birth of a male child, this was to take place 33 days after the boy's circumcision. So Mary, with Joseph and Jesus, went to the temple to offer the prescribed sacrifice, and complete the ritual. It was also the Law that every male that opens the womb be consecrated to the Lord, and so Jesus was to be presented, and consecrated. Nothing out of the ordinary, really…this was a good Jewish family devoutly following the Law of Moses like every good Jewish family was expected to do.
But we all know that this wasn't the typical Jewish family. The child Jesus was conceived in the womb of an immaculate virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph had taken her as his wife because of an angel's message, and the infant Jesus' birth was announced to shepherds by a whole host of angels.
Yet here they were, fulfilling the law in humility and poverty, just like everybody else. Who would have ever known…who could have even guessed…that disguised in this ordinary act was the Messiah, the Savior of the world?
Simeon is simply described as a man who" was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him." He had been given a revelation that he would not die before seeing the Christ. Simeon was old, and who knows how long it had been since the revelation? But he waited; he prayed and he sacrificed and he fasted…and he waited. He believed God, that he would send the Messiah, and that Simeon would live to see it. But this poor couple? This tiny baby? Today? How did he know? Simeon knew because he trusted God. He prayed, and he sacrificed, and he fasted…and after who knows how long, he was rewarded. He was able to recognize the Savior of the world disguised in this little baby carried in the arms of this young mother and father, in this everyday circumstance on this particular day.
What about us? Do we trust God? Are we praying, and sacrificing, and fasting? If we are not, will we be able to recognize the Savior of the world as he comes into our lives disguised in the hum-drum of everyday life; in the humility and poverty of people we pass in the street? Pray, and sacrifice, and fast, and trust, and he will reward us just as surely as Simeon. --BW