Presentation of the Lord (Purification of B.V.M.; Candlemas), Gospel Reading: Lk2:22-32
It was thus prophesied of old: “Mother Sion says: ‘And a man was made man in her; and the Highest himself has founded her.'”
O almighty power of a newborn child! O magnificence coming down from heaven to earth! He is still being carried in the womb, and is saluted by John the Baptist from the womb of his mother; is presented in the temple, and is recognised by Simeon, an old man, famous and full of years, proved and crowned. First he recognised, then he adored, then he said: “Now dismiss your servant, O Lord, in peace; because my eyes have seen your salvation.”
“My eyes have seen your salvation”
He delayed his going from the world, that he might see him born, he by whom the world was made. The old man knew the Child, and in the Child became a child. He, who was filled with devotion, found himself renewed in old age.
Simeon, the old man, bore Christ the Child, Christ ruled the old age of Simeon.
It had been said to him by the Lord that he would not taste death before he had seen Christ born of the Lord.
Christ was born, and in the old age of the world the desire of the old man was fulfilled.
He who found a world broken with age came to an aged man.
“Show us, O Lord, your mercy, and grant us your salvation”
He would not indeed stay longer in this world, and in this world he desired to see Christ, singing and saying with the prophet: “Show us, O Lord, your mercy, and grant us your salvation.” And lastly, that thus you should know it to be his joy, he says: “Now dismiss your servant in peace: for my eyes have seen your salvation.”
The Prophets sang that the Creator of heaven and earth should eventually be on earth with men; the angel announced that the Creator of spirit and flesh should come in the flesh; John from the womb saluted the Saviour in the womb: Simeon the old man recognised the Child as God.
– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964