When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying,“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In this Gospel, the “righteous and devout” Simeon sees and holds the child Jesus in his arms, and recognizes in him the one who will bring about the salvation of all. We join millions of Catholics, lay and religious, throughout the centuries of the Church who use Simeon’s words as their prayer each night as part of Compline, the night prayer of the Church.
We celebrate on this day, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the fact that God himself became one of us, and did not do so in secret, but rather “in the presence of all the peoples.” The sight of all the people includes us, the people of today. Take a moment to reflect on the ways that Christ is working in your life to bring about your own salvation and final union with him.
Save us, Lord, while we are awake; protect us while we sleep; that we may keep watch with Christ and rest with him in peace.
Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace.
You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness;
the glory of your people Israel.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.
—Prayer from Compline (Night Prayer)
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