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Eyes of Faith
The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him 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: “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.” 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.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, I believe in your presence. I believe I can encounter you during this time of prayer. I believe in your promises. Increase my faith.
- What the Lord Had Promised: Simeon, like other Israelites, lived with the hope of the fulfillment of God’s promises to his people. He was “awaiting the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25), the Messiah that would come and save humanity from sin and death. Scripture is full of God’s promises. “I will be with you always” (Matthew 28:20). “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). “I will come back” (John 14:3). “You will have a treasure in heaven” (Luke 18:22). “You will inherit the Earth” (Matthew 5:5). “Where I am you will also be” (John 14:3). What has God promised you? Which promises most speak to you during this Christmas season?
- Faith through Waiting: In this passage, we see the moment when Simeon encountered Jesus, when he saw the promise that he had awaited fulfilled. But how many days and nights had he shown up at the temple, waiting with no sign. When we read stories too quickly we can forget the struggle that occurred before the happy ending. We might be in a time of expectation, in a waiting period, tempted to darkness and doubt. In these moments, we battle against hopelessness, against the lies that suggest we’ve been abandoned or deceived. This is the perfect opportunity to exercise our faith, to stand strong in the certain knowledge that the Lord is always faithful, and that his timing is perfect.
- My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation: There was nothing out of the ordinary that morning in Jerusalem when a young father and mother brought their newborn to be presented in the Temple. Every family did so. But the Gospel tells us that Simeon was able to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, the light for the nations. What a life of prayer and silence Simeon must have had! In order to see God’s promises fulfilled in our lives, we need special eyes of faith. We need to be in touch with the Holy Spirit. We need to notice his subtle movements in our hearts. Praying every day enables us to notice God’s hand at work in our day. Our Lord is constantly showering graces upon us, and prayer helps us be ever more attentive to his endless blessings in our life.
Conversing with Christ: Holy Spirit, I want to hear you. I want the disposition of my heart to be such that I notice your presence in my life every day. Help me to appreciate your faithfulness throughout my day, and if I must wait for an answered prayer, help me to wait with confidence.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reflect on all those times you have shown your presence in my life and I will thank you for your fidelity. I will renew my hope in your promises.
For Further Reflection: Reflect on Mary’s faith and her gratitude for God’s fidelity in the Magnificat in Luke 1:46-55.
Gaby Ruiloba is from Aguascalientes, Mexico. She consecrated her life to God in Regnum Christi in 2009 and currently ministers at Everest Collegiate High School & Academy in Clarkston, Michigan.