In the Presence of God
In today’s gospel, the Holy Family goes up to Jerusalem to fulfil the law of purification and the consecration of every firstborn to the Lord.
Then prompted by the Holy Spirit, Simeon recognizes the presence of Jesus in the temple. He takes the child and blesses God for giving Him the grace to live and behold the child, Jesus. He praises God for His wondrous works and recognizes Jesus as a salvation to the nations, light to the gentiles and glory for the people, Israel.
When we come to The presence of God
In his song, Simeon recognizes that Jesus coming is not only for the people of Israel but of the whole nation.
He gives thanks to God for giving him life to witness this great event and blesses God for the wondrous work He has done for all nations and the people of Israel. He then blesses the parents and reveals to Mary that a sword will pierce through her soul, which is for a reason.
All these happened in the temple, which is God’s presence.
In the Lord’s presence we see how Simeon expresses deep joy because He has encountered the Messiah He has been waiting for. Now He asks that God allow Him to depart in peace. This shows deep satisfaction. To encounter Jesus was all that He needs.
Therefore like Simeon, the presence of Jesus should give us joy. We should have this inner hunger to be in the Lord’s presence all the time. To be in God’s presence should give us a lot of satisfaction.
When we come in the presence of God, we need to show that we truly long to be with Him. We have to show that we truly long to encounter Jesus. The presence of God should give us joy, excitement and satisfaction.
Also, We have to imitate the Holy Family who came to fulfill their religious obligation and consecrate the child to God. It shows that they do give God His rightful position.
Therefore, We have to put God first in every thing that we do. Then like the Holy Family, let us consecrate our children, our family and our lives to God. This involves giving ourselves totally to Him. By total dedication, it means that we have given ourselves entirely to God
Let the presence of God give us joy. Let us have this inner hunger for His presence. His presence gives satisfaction.
Also, in the presence of God, Simeon revealed to the parents many things about the child Jesus.
To find a revelation about who we are and the course of our destiny, always be in God’s presence.
The Thirst for the Presence of God
Today’s gospel reveals how dedicated the parents of the Child Jesus are to God.
Despite the seemingly long distance from Nazareth to Jerusalem, which is about 100km, they made sure that they fulfilled their religious obligations.
We see in them, the eagerness to be in good terms with God.
Today, this inner thirst for God has gone into extinction. Many people only worship God to be seen.
We remember that immediately Simeon recognizes the presence of Jesus in the temple, Simeon expresses his joy.
We can imagine this joy to see the Messiah at last after waiting for a long time.
Therefore, do we also have this hunger today? Do we also derive joy whenever the things of God are mentioned?
Also, Simeon believed that God’s promises must surely come to pass despite however long it may take.
Do you easily lose faith even to approach God again because you feel God has disappointed you?
Can we have patience with God?
The two encounters we have today teach us to thirst for God and remain strong in Him, despite how thickening the situation might be.
Fulfill your Obligations
Finally, the parents of Jesus made sure that every religious obligation is fulfilled. Then we can ask ourselves; in what ways are we fulfilling our obligations towards God?
Is there any way we owe God or the Church? Why is that when it comes to the things of God, we begin to backslide and show signs of disinterestedness?
Why is that the things of God do not give us any atom of joy? What has God truly done to us that we are constantly losing faith as if we love God only when He does marvellously for us?
In each of us supposed to be this inner thirst for God’s presence.
In The presence of God
When the parents of Jesus enter the temple with Him to fulfil their religious obligation, Simeon recognizes that this is the Messiah.
Hence, when we come to the presence of God, do we truly recognize that we are in the presence of God?
When we go before the Blessed Sacrament, do we certainly believe that we are truly in the presence of Jesus? Our attitudes are enough to answer.
Secondly, Simeon begins to bless the Lord immediately for considering Him worthy to behold the Messiah.
When we meet Jesus, let us truly recognize who He is; a light to the world, our salvation, the secret of eternal glory etc. One who accepts Him is blessed.
To meet Jesus is supposed to give us joy and not weakness. We see this joy resonate in the song of Simeon.
Therefore, when we come to His presence, spend time to express your heart before Him, thank Him for everything He has done for you and bless His holy name.
Everything that happened today reveals a group of people whose love and trust in God abound. Let us do the same.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to long for Him. May His grace in your life also abound. Amen
Merry Christmas to You