Friday of Christmas Octave
I John 2: 3 – 11; Ps 96: Luke 2: 22 – 35
It is clear that St. Luke is a man of the Holy Spirit. In the Acts of the Apostles he records for us the great day of Pentecost – the great driving wind, the tongues of fire, the apostles filled with the Holy Spirit and expressing themselves in foreign tongues – once fearful men now bold in their open proclaiming the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ “as the Spirit prompted them.”
In today’s Gospel St. Luke presents a man, Simeon by name, who lived his whole life prompted by the same Holy Spirit. Three times St. Luke underlines the presence and action of the Spirit in Simeon’s life – we know nothing of his origin and nothing of the ends of his days – but we do know that “the Holy Spirit was upon him”…he received the Holy Spirit’s revelation that before he died he would see “the Anointed of the Lord” and then the time came, the moment he waited for so many years – he came into the temple…inspired by the Spirit…without hesitation, without question he took this infant, “the Anointed of the Lord” into his embrace and blessed God. He saw, he knew, he received the child Jesus – now he could pray, “Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace…”
I believe that Simeon, just and pious, is an icon of what it means to believe in God…to live one’s life waiting upon the Lord…to live in hope, in patience, in deep conviction that God is to be trusted completely.
Just as the Apostles, just as Simeon – people prompted by the Spirit – so are we. Our very presence here this morning for prayer and for the Eucharist which are truly actions of waiting upon the Lord, actions that proclaim conviction, our belief in God can only be because the Holy Spirit overshadows us, inspires us.
As Simeon was sensitive to the movements of the Spirit, as he was obedient to the Holy Spirit’s promptings, let us request his intercession that we, too, live in such a way that we seek and desire the Holy Spirit to guide us, to encourage us as we try to live just, pious lives – our lives in Christ.