Friday, December 29, 2006
In his gospel St. Luke one of the Evangelist's concerns was the division among the people regarding Jesus: some accepted the prophet, others rejected him.
Luke's infancy of Jesus is composed of several vignette-accounts, which act as table's of contents for his gospel and his Acts of the Apostles. They develop themes and threads which these vignettes introduce. One of the final ones is the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.
Simeon--not the only character in this vignette--Luke 2.22-40--receives the infant Jesus into his arms and glorifies God because his eyes at last behold the salvation of God. His eyes, indeed Simeon's entire being, are fulfilled. Even though Mary's child will be the cause of division among people, Jesus is the glory of God.
From the 4th Century, the church has used Simeon's canticle as its night prayer. Retiring for the night is a good moment to reflect on how one has seen God's glory during the day and to entrust oneself to God for a night of rest in order to detect and to accept Christ on the day to come.
Photo from the Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry, Folio 63r - The Presentation in the Temple the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France. It is in the public domain.