“My eyes have seen the salvation of the Lord.”
The Presentation of the Lord (February the 2nd)
Monthly Meditation on the Gospel
according to St. Luke 2:22-40
“My eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see.”
These words were spoken by Simeon, so called ‘Simeon The Elder’, in his blessings of God, when he was allowed by Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, to hold the Child Jesus in his old arms at the Temple of Jerusalem on the 40th day after Christmas, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
On that day, the day of purification, the Child Jesus was brought by Mary and Joseph to the Temple and was there offered by them to God the Father, who is, indeed, the Father of the Child Jesus. It was there where Jesus met Simeon who, in the Gospel, “was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him”.
The same Gospel continues to tell us, “It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ the Lord”.
Simeon was indeed “upright and devout’ who had entrusted himself to the hands of God who had promised as above to him, as well as to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He, thus, waited for the time to come when God would fulfill His promises to him in patience and in obedience, trusting firmly and completely in God without any doubt.
At last, God had fulfilled His promises to Simeon as he saw the Christ the Lord even in the form of the Child Jesus. He then praised God with joy and peace by saying;
“Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you had promised. Because my eyes have seen the salvation”.
Around 30 add years later after Simeon, St John The Apostle wrote in his letter, “Something which has existed since the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have watched and touched with our own hands”. What is “Something” to John? It is “The Word of life”, as John tells us. That is Jesus Christ, needless to say. (1 John 1:1)
Then, John continues to tell us, “That life was made visible; we saw it and are giving our testimony declaring to you the eternal life, which was present to the Father and has been revealed to us. We are declaring to you, what we have seen and heard, so that you too may share our life. Our life is shared with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ”. (1 John 1:2)
What john tells us in his letter is true as Simeon really could see the invisible God with his own eyes and, even, touched Him with his own hands as God made Himself visible in the Child Jesus.
Holding the Child Jesus as the visible and even tangible God in his arms, Simeon continued his praises to God by saying, “My eyes have seen the salvation, which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel”.
Now we know that what God told Simeon and John as well of His promises to all the nations, even far beyond Jerusalem as here like Japan, has fulfilled to all of us with the same graces and in the same experiences as we, too, have “The Word of life, that is, Jesus Christ, which we have heard, and we have seen with our own eyes, and we have watched and touched with our own hands”.
However, what form is for us to share the same experience as above with Simeon and John? It is for us in the form of the Blessed Sacraments at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. At the mass we really hear Jesus in the Gospel reading, see Him at the Consecration and watch Him at the Elevation with our own eyes, then, even touch Him with our own hands in the form of the Blessed and Consecrated Sacraments, that is, the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ Himself, really present to each of us.
With Simeon, we now can say, “Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace because my eyes have seen the salvation”. With Jesus our life is fulfilled. Without Jesus, however, our life is nothing.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.