Homily for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Theme: THE PROPHECY OF SIMEON…..”Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace”
By: Fr. Lluís RAVENTÓS i Artés
Homily for Tuesday February 2 2021
Today, we see how Simeon, ignoring the winter’s cold, is awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. Five hundred years before, when the Temple was starting to be built there was such poverty in the country that its builders were highly discouraged. It was the when Haggai, the prophet, said: «‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house’, says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace’, declares the Lord Almighty» (Hag 2:9); and added «I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory» (Hag 2:7). Words that admit different meanings; some will say «the dearest one», while saint Jeronim will say «the desired of all nations».
The Holy Spirit had assured Simeon «that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord» (Lk 2:26), and today, «led by the Holy Spirit» he has gone into the Temple. He is not a levite, nor a scribe, nor a doctor of the law, he is just «a very upright and devout man that looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel» (Lk 2:25). But the Holy Spirit blows where it wills (cf. Jn 3:8).
Now, he realizes with surprise that no preparation has been made, no flags, garlands, damasks or shields can be seen anywhere. Just Joseph and Mary, crossing the esplanade, and bringing de Child Jesus in their arms. «Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in» (Ps 24:), claims de psalmist.
Stretching his arms Simeon takes the Infant from his Mother and bless God while saying: «Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for you have fulfilled your word and my eyes have seen your salvation, which you display for all the people to see. Here is the light you will reveal to the nations and the glory of your people Israel» (Lk 2:29-32).
Fr. Lluís RAVENTÓS i Artés