After Jesus was born at least according to Luke’s gospel forty days have passed and Mary and Joseph take Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem so as Mary can fufill the ritual purification after childbirth as outlined in Leviticus, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn, where like Abraham before the firstborn or other offering is offered to God.
While at the Temple they encounter Simeon and Anna, often considered the last two prophets of the Old Testament as they were both described in the Gospel as very old. Anna prophesied about the coming of Jesus in the temple for ages in Jerusalem and Simeon prophesied to Mary about the death of Jesus. We need to remember that it is a woman (Anna) who is the first to prepare the way for Jesus.
Simeon like Mary and Zechariah has a canticle Nunc Dimittis it is typically recited during Night Prayers. Simeon’s canticle is recited as according to Luke the Holy Spirit had said he would not die until he saw the Savior born. Then Simeon said ” Now you dismiss your servant, O Lord, according to your word in peace; Because my eyes have seen your salvation…” It seems odd but the glory of the Lord is all around us and we barely recognize it.
I hope that in this upcoming year we can be more like Anna and Simeon and bring the words of Christ out into our communities and to do so with deep faith.
- The Prophetess Anna (thepassionists.org)
- The Peace of the Lord – Sermon for December 29, 2013 (pastorrichert.wordpress.com)
- Simeon and Anna: Blessed to see Jesus (theroadreport.wordpress.com)