Glass Half Full …. ? ( Canticle of Simeon Part II)

This canticle and the setting that surrounds it is a seemingly bitter sweet experience for the outsider looking in.

Here is Simeon saying “OK, I can now die in peace…” . Basically saying that his life is now over with since he has finally gotten the one thing he has been waiting for.   Which just seems like a very sad thing.

Then there is Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Holy Family, so very filled with joy and hope. This idea of looking at this man who now says my life is now done seems so very dark. Simeon tells Mary “ The child is destined for the rise and fall of many in Israel, a sign contradicted”.

Here again Joy in Jesus and this prophecy that He is destined for the rise and fall of many.   From the very beginning there have been statements of contradiction. In the Magnificat is says “ He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent away empty” and the other occasions that might have been otherwise joyous, had statements that had less happy overtones.

Even worse, Simeon says to Mary, “ and a sword will pierce your own heart too!” .   How depressing a thought to bring to what would otherwise seem to be a joyful event.

The clue here is not in this encounter with Simeon, not really. The answer to the mystery comes about after the presentation. It comes after Joseph and Mary loose track of Jesus on the return home, and return to find Jesus in the temple.

So what does Jesus say to them ? He says “ Did you not know I must be in my Fathers house ?” What is the lesson in this for us ? Through out the course of life there is confusion, trials , crosses, and challenges of every sort. Our daily lives may provide us with challenges that might well seem on the surface “contradicted” or contrary to our perception of God.

However, through the eyes of faith even if we do not really understand all the reasons why or the plan God has for us is not clear, we must continue forward in faith. Like Mary and Joseph on their journey we might not be able to see Jesus in our walk. It is that time we refer to as being “ in the dessert”. Where we may feel disconnected, and we can not see God. It is this time we go looking , we seek God, and when we finally get to the other side, we are relieved , but in order to get to the other side we too must be like Jesus in this part of the story. We too must be in our Fathers house , doing the Fathers will, and moving ever forward in our trusting faith.

Going always forward means that at the end of your earthly journey you too say your journey is complete, let your servant go in peace. Now, go in peace, to love and serve the Lord through one another… Deo Gratias!

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