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The canticle of Simeon


LUKE 2:22-35

reflectionstodayWhen the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, [Joseph and Mary] 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. … 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 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.”


ACCORDING TO THE LAW OF MOSES. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are obedient to the Law given through Moses: every firstborn male should be presented or consecrated to the Lord. To redeem the child, the family will offer a lamb or, in the case of a poor family, two young pigeons. Jesus’ parents consider it important to fulfill the requirements of the Law even if this will entail expense and a tiring journey.

Simeon represents the generations of Jews who have long awaited the coming of the Messiah to the Temple. He is righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel. The Spirit has told him that he will not die before he has seen the Lord’s promised Messiah.

With the passing of years, Simeon has seen quite a number of firstborn males being presented to the Temple. Early on, he must have wondered how he would recognize the Messiah as an infant, but eventually it must have dawned on him that on the crucial day he will no longer have to ask because he will simply know.

“A light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel,” thus speaks Simeon about the infant Jesus. “This child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel.” Because Mary is naturally a part of her Son’s mission, her heart will be pierced as with a sword.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:


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