Feast of the presentation of the Lord – Luke2: 22-40

Among many other things, the presentation of Jesus in the temple reminds us of how recently we celebrated the birth of Jesus. Christmas is not  far away from our memory and in the flow of things it is time for His presentation.

The presentation of Jesus in the temple was an obligations called for in Leviticus 12:3-8. The presentation included the circumcision ceremony where one was formally stamped as a member of God’s chosen people, through whom word salvation was to be achieved (JBC)

Then there was the law for consecration of the firstborn as found in Exodus 13: 1-2. When the child was a month old, he was to be redeemed for five shekels. Luke does not mention this but mentions the presentation.

Witness to this presentation is Simeon, whose name means ‘God has heard’ and Anna whose name means ‘grace’ or ‘favour’. Simeon is no priest but like Anna he spends his life serving God. What perhaps is often lost in the rituals of the candle procession and blessings held on this day in the Catholic Church is the witness of Simeon and Anna.

The Gospel focuses on the fidelity of Simeon and Anna. Simeon is like a back stage crew, a name in small letters in the credits in the Christmas story. Even sheep and cows somehow get a higher rating in the Christmas story and yet he is faithful.

On the feast of the presentation, Simeon is presented to us as a model of faith for he was in tune with God when nobody else was; not Caesar, nor the Roman senator, nor the Jewish leaders who were too apathetic to find out who this baby was, nor Herod, was too paranoid about the birth of the child.

Simeon had insight because he was faithful. The Bible tells us three things about Simeon; that of his description, his proclamation and his prediction.  Simeon was certainly an older person for he speaks of his departure from the world but more than physical description the Bible gives us a spiritual description; he was just (righteous) and devout.

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