This weekend the Church remembers the Meeting of the Lord in the temple (Lk. 2:22-36).
If there is one aspect of this feast that seems to stand out in all the readings and hymns, it is the prayer of St. Symeon the elder. Words of an old man who spent his life in anticipation of meeting the Messiah, the one who would save the world.
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
His hymn speaks to the hope of something better. Something that brings healing and mercy to the brokeness of life, and to our inability to change our condition.
Symeon and those with him knew that they would die, and that evil would consume and show no mercy in the years to come. But he also knew that this child Jesus would bring salvation and the light of God’s saving mercy to not only the faithful of Israel, but to the world.
May we trust in the Lord, that even in our times, His light might eternally cast out the darkness of violence, poverty, and injustice and the evils that plagues our lives, and the lives of the world around us. And like Symeon we might be able to close our eyes in peace knowing that Christ conquered death.