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Feast of the Holy Family - Cycle B

Luke 2:22-40


“he took him into his arms and blessed God…” (Luke 2:28)

Meditating on today’s Gospel, I find myself as Simeon. I relate to being led by the Spirit at specific times to go somewhere, do, or speak something – often primarily for others’ benefit. I also relate to awaiting the fulfillment of long-held desires in the Lord.


When I imagine Simeon holding Jesus and speaking his first prophetic words, beginning with grateful praise to God, I’m moved by a sense of peace, relief, and humility in the face of God’s goodness.


God’s love and humility are overwhelming. I’m humbled by it. Not only did He lead Simeon to see the promise fulfilled, but Simeon met Jesus as a baby: he held the Messiah, in the fullness of his vulnerability.  


Simeon prophesied that the Gentiles (including the Romans, whom the Israelites were awaiting deliverance from) would be welcomed into God’s Kingdom. 


One of my deepest, long-held desires is for another big outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which changes lives and brings more and more people into personal relationships with Jesus. I also have more personal desires, and promises God has given me, whose fulfillment I await. 


This Christmas, I watched a documentary about a pastor who, through his humble and steadfast relationship with God, rootedness in Scripture, and openness to God’s plans for his life as they unfolded, was able to bring many people into relationship with Jesus – people who would not have been reached or welcomed into traditional churches at the time. His experience underscored that God wants to draw everyone to Himself, and works in surprising ways; God has big plans.


Simeon and the pastor both had desires in the Lord and embraced the ways He fulfilled them. Throughout the journey, they remained dedicated to God.


Their examples encourage me to be patient, steadfast, and hopeful. They’re reminders of God’s astounding love, great plans, and that He meets and uses our desires, often in ways we wouldn’t have dreamt. 


Holy Spirit, give us the grace to daily and gratefully embrace God with open arms, patiently and humbly allowing his plans to unfold through our lives as He wills, one step at a time.

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