Why would the presentation of Jesus at the temple be any different from how He entered our world? As the greatest of all, the Son of God, He came to be purified, not because of who He was, but by offering the same sacrifice as one consecrated to the Lord “in accordance with the dictate of the law of the Lord”.
There was no pretense on the part of Mary and Joseph about their Son, no expectation that all should come to Him, no thought that His presentation was to be focused on Him. Simeon whose only claim to fame was his righteousness and devotion to God was the one who proclaimed His presence. Simeon had a very clear and spiritual insight as to who this child was and what His destination would be.
Our challenge today is how can we be mindful of the truest meaning of Christ this Christmas? How can we emulate Simeon in acknowledging the clearest and purest importance of the Christ child’s birth? What role will we allow the Spirit to have in forming us to live out our lives, not with a focus on self, but in service to God and others? How can we live our lives as Anna did, “worship[ping Him] night and day with fasting and prayer”?
We are reminded in the first reading of how we should be serving our family, specifically our parents, on this the feast of the Holy Family.
In St. Paul’s second reading, we are given specific counsel on what our service should look like, with, “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another”. Each of these words and phrases is focused on the other, not on ourselves.
Let us ask for the grace of God to consistently strive for this focus.