Simeon was promised that he would see God’s
salvation before he died.He waited patiently for
the day. May my soul be at peace in the assurance
of our Lord’s promises.
We are God’s family in exile awaiting the return of our King. We are an expectant people. We are also a fulfilled people. In our expectation is our fulfillment… Christ Himself. He came. He died. He rose. He ascended. He reigns. He is here now in His Word, in the Eucharist, and indwelling each other. He will return in the flesh to gather His own. As the world anticipated His first coming, we await His coming in glory.
When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming (CCC 524 [Cf Rev 22:17]).
Simeon was a man devoted to God awaiting the coming of the Messiah.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel” (Luke 2:25-32).
As he waited, Simeon went to the Temple in the spirit. He knew where to find God’s promise. Just so, we read our Bibles to understand our Lord and are devoted to the Mass where Christ is present in the Eucharist. He has given us both a fulfillment of His presence with us and the food to sustain us on our journey home to Him.
Will He come again in our lifetimes? There are many who have already died who thought so. Does it matter? No. In the fullness of time, we will meet Him… in this life or in eternity. We will be judged on how we lived this life (2 Cor 5:10 & Rev 22:12). We simply rely on His promises.
What has He promised?
1. Our Lord has demonstrated His unquenchable love in that He died for us while we were at our worst to pay a debt we couldn’t pay to bring us home to a reward we couldn’t earn. He promises that His love will never fail (Lam 3:22). We are to love one another in the spirit of God who is the very definition of love (1 John 4:7-12). Those who do not love are cursed (1 Cor 16:22).
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:7-8).
2. God will never stop reaching out to us. In the Garden of Eden, when our first parents failed, our Lord “searched” for them. He made His presence known and invited them in reconciliation. They were stubborn. In our own trials, He is here. He is ever faithful. We have only to turn to Him in our distress (Is 30:18-19).
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. — C.S. Lewis
3. We belong to God and He will take care of us. He reaches down to us to lift us up to be with Him. He wants us to come home to Him and be with Him forever.
“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:2-3).
We are called to live a life of faithfulness to the will of God in this life—to love. It’s a life of obedience to God’s commands and we rely on His promises. Rejoice, pray, and give thanks (1 Thess 5:16-18)! He is faithful to those who seek Him. He answers those who ask of Him. He opens the door to those who knock. May we be a patient people as His plan unfolds both in us and for us during our sojourn through this valley of tears. His promises never fail.
Truly, the Lord is waiting to be gracious to you,
truly, he shall rise to show you mercy;
For the Lord is a God of justice:
happy are all who wait for him! (Is 30:18)