Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Simeon Figured It Out First: Recognizing Jesus in the Arms of Mary

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 recognize the moment when it did happen?
When he had lived many years, when he had seen many days come and go in God's holy place, it finally happened.
Mary entered the Temple. And Simeon knew that the Lord of Life, the Messiah, the long-awaited King . . . God's son . . . had finally come!

[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, ‘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.’
I think I understand how Simeon felt that day.
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 always wondered what it would be like to truly be in His Presence. And on the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, in the year 2005, the Mother of Our Lord shared her Son with me for the first time.
In the years that have passed since that First Holy Communion, the very things that Simeon promised have occurred in my life. 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.
God willing, we will be among the ranks of the saints . . . on that day when we can say, like Simeon, Now Master, let your servant go in peace, just as you promised.



  1. Wonderful post.Such a beautiful revelation and connection to today's readings.Thank you for your inspiring words.

  2. Yes... It must have been a wonderful encounter. I can see it in your words!