Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple


In the account of Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple, wisdom is represented by two elderly persons, Simeon and Anna: persons docile to the Holy Spirit, led by him, inspired by him. The Lord granted them wisdom as the fruit of a long journey along the path of obedience to his law, an obedience which likewise humbles and abases, but which also lifts up and protects hope, making them creative, for they are filled with the Holy Spirit. They even enact a kind of liturgy around the Child as he comes to the Temple. Simeon praises the Lord and Anna “proclaims” salvation. As with Mary, the elderly man holds the Child, but in fact it is the Child who guides the elderly man. […] Mary, the young mother, and Simeon, the kindly old man, hold the Child in their arms, yet it is the Child himself who guides them both.

Here it is not young people who are creative: the young, like Mary and Joseph, follow the law of the Lord, the path of obedience. The elderly, like Simeon and Anna, see in the Child the fulfilment of the Law and the promises of God. And they are able to celebrate: they are creative in joy and wisdom. And the Lord turns obedience into wisdom by the working of his Holy Spirit.

– From the homily of Pope Francis on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 2015. Image: Simon’s Song of Praise, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Stockholm, Sweden

 

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