Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wanting to See Jesus

He'd waited - almost forever - to see the face of God.

I wonder how he knew it would happen? When did he first realize that one day - someday - the Lord of Life would come through the Temple doors? Did he have some idea of what God would look like? Did the Holy Spirit give him some clues? Or was it all so other-worldly that Simeon just knew that it would happen and he just knew that he would know when it did?

And then, when he had lived many years, when he had seen many days come and go in God's holy place, it did happen.

Mary entered the Temple.

And Simeon just knew.

He knew that the Lord of Life, the Messiah, the long-awaited King . . . God's son . . . was right there in front of him.

And Simeon received Jesus into his own hands. And he spoke words to Mary . . . I know who this is. I know this is the One. Your son. God's son. I know!

[Simeon] took [Jesus] into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’

Today at Mass, I heard this reading from the Gospel of Luke. And I had a glimpse into how Simeon must have felt.

You see, Mary walked into my life, too. She walked in with grace and quiet joy and threw open the doors of my heart. I had loved the Lord for as long as I could remember - as a Protestant, the daughter of a preacher. And I had always wondered what it would be like to see Him, to look upon Him and know that what I saw was Jesus. And on the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, in the year 2005, the Mother of Our Lord shared her Son with me.

In the years that have passed since that First Holy Communion, Our Lord and Our Lady have done for me what Simeon promised. Many things which were once buried in my heart have been laid bare. This walk to holiness is not easy. Change is not always immediate. But, if we long to see Jesus with all of our hearts, Our Lady will bring Him to us. And He will change us.

I am not all that I will be . . . but I am not who I was. I am changing. I am being changed. And God willing, I will be among the ranks of the saints . . . on that day when I can say, like Simeon, Now Master, let your servant go in peace, just as you promised.


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