December 29, 2020

The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)

The Church gives us, in these days following Christmas, an opportunity to contemplate more deeply the mystery of Christ’s incarnation and the joy and peace it brings.

The season’s images are warm and comforting: hosts of angels announcing the birth of the Savior and praising God, the night sky illuminated by myriads of stars, shepherds forsaking flocks and fields to go in search of a newborn baby, Joseph and Mary in rapt adoration.

Devout Jews prayed for the coming of the Messiah for centuries. Simeon, whom we meet in today’s gospel of the presentation in the temple, represents this longing. He experiences the joy of being able to hold in his arms the promised Christ and utters a quiet prayer, “Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled.”

The moment ends, however, on a troubling note. “This child,” Simeon continues, “is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be contradicted.” Despite the long years of anticipation of this very encounter, or perhaps because of them, Simeon foresees the violence that will be visited on this innocent life in fulfillment of the saving work for which he has come.

Addressing the Marist Third Order, Saint Peter Julian Eymard said: “Come worship the child Jesus, come to glorify him in what makes him so lovable – his littleness, his poverty, his abandonment, his sufferings” (129, 2). These are proofs of his love!

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus, you fulfilled perfectly what Simeon foretold, so great was your love. Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Anthony Schueller, SSS

Father Anthony Schueller was the Provincial Superior of the Province of Saint Ann of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament and the editor of Emmanuel.