When the day came for the purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought the baby up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord. As it is written in the law of the Lord: Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to God. And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
‘There lived in Jerusalem, at this time, a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was him. He looked forward to the time when thee Lord would comfort Isracl; and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord. So he was led into the temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law.
Simeon took the child in his arms, and blessed God, saying, Now, 0 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 see. Here is the light you will reveal to the nations,and the glory of your people Israel.”
His father and mother wondered at was said about the child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother. “Know this: your son is a sign; a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thought may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess named Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. After leaving her father’s home, she had been seven years with her husband; and since then, she had been continually about the temple, serving God, as a widow, night and day, in fasting and prayer. She was now eighty-four. Coming up at that time, she gave praise to God, and spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When the parents had fulfilled all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their town, Nazareth in Galilee. There, the child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom: the grace of God was upon him,
“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.” These verses are part of the Church’s night prayer.
It expresses the sentiments of the elderly Simeon who upon seeing the baby Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem, uttered those words that are full of surrender and thanksgiving to the Almighty for having fulfilled His promise of salvation. The faithfulness of God to His promises was also emphasized in today’s responsorial psalm: “The Lord remembers his covenant forever.” Before we retire every night, let us consistently and confidently pray those words of Simeon and entrust ourselves to the mercy and providence of God. And now that we are at the threshold of a new year, may the Lord’s
promise of salvation continue to scatter the darkness around us and guide our thoughts and actions to better days ahead. May the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, whose feast we celebrate today, bless us as we close 2023 and welcome the new year. The
Augustinian friars behind this year’s edition of Vulnerasti wish all of you a very Happy and Blessed New Year!