Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised; For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world to see: A Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of your people Israel. (The Song of Simeon Nunc dimittis, The Book of Common Prayer, p.120).
These wonderful words of Simeon found in Luke’s Gospel 2:29-32 sing of freedom, peace, light and glory. Simeon waited in the Temple for the arrival of God’s promise to him. He remained in prayer and anticipation that what God gave him in faith, would become what he saw. His ears were tuned in to hear the voice of God. He awaited the Light that would enlighten.
As we all face our dark moments, this Canticle of Simeon is a prayer encouragement to believe that the Light that enlightens will one day become visible for us. Persistence in prayer is willing to keep praying and being open to the grace that helps sustain us. The Holy Spirit wants to stretch our hearts so that the Light of God that will enlighten our souls will show throughout all our lives.
May we follow the example of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in obedience to God on this Feast of the Presentation, and remain vigilant in prayer as we await God’s Light to guide us into a greater experience of God’s presence. May that Light shine through us and be a sign of hope for others who live in “darkness and the shadow of death.”
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB