When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 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 Christ 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 the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted–and you yourself a sword will pierce–so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
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The Presentation of Our Lord is a beautiful reminder that God keeps his promises. This fourth Joyful Mystery of the rosary and first Dolor of Mary provides a lot to contemplate. Who knows how long Simeon waited to see Christ. The Holy Spirit promised him that he would live to see Christ before he died. Simeon was an elderly man, so he probably waited decades to see that promise fulfilled. Regardless, he waited patiently and remained faithful, trusting what the Lord revealed to him. Think of an area of your life where you could trust in the Lord more. He hasn’t made any grand promises to me lately, but I know he promises to take care of me and that he has good plans in store for me. As simple as these promises are, I used to find them hard to believe. As I became more faithful to the Lord, I learned to trust in him more and to understand that he will fulfill his promises. Maybe the Lord’s promise to Simeon helped him to become the righteous and devout man that he was. I pray that you and I can increase our faith by trusting the Lord wholeheartedly like Simeon.
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