A bucket list is a wish list of things to do before you “kick the bucket”, before you die.
In today’s Gospel, we encounter Simeon. He evidently has a bucket list.
At some point in his life, he received assurance by the Holy Spirit,
that he would see the consolation of Israel.
Throughout the Old Testament the Israelites seek God’s help.
They remind Him of their covenantal relationship.
In prayer they ask to be saved from their enemies, delivered from their tribulations.
There is little doubt that Simeon, being righteous, pious and devout,
often bowed down in supplication for these blessings.
Upon seeing the child Jesus Simeon’s bucket list is completed.
Simeon recognizes that God is present in this child;
God is doing the work of salvation through this child.
In and through Jesus, God has acted on behalf of his people. Their awaited salvation has arrived.
It is the Holy Spirit, active in Simeon’s life, which brings him to Christ,
allows him to see beyond mere physical appearances.
Simeon had no idea about how the future would unfold.
But, in the Spirit, he could sense the mystery of God was at work.
Something eternal was passing before his eyes.
The Scriptures present Simeon as one of the first witnesses, one of the first believers.
He saw…and he believed….and he testifies. He gives an account of what he believes.
And believing, he was at peace. He could now lay down his life, not in fear or anxiety or uneasiness.
He could lay down his life in comfort. He could rest from his labors in peace.
Our Feast Day today celebrates one of many events in the history of Jesus’ life
that brings encouragement and assurance.
God has not forgotten His people. He provides for their salvation.
We know that salvation is present is Jesus Christ.
The goal of his life was to conquer the forces of evil and to reverse the curse of sin,
which is human cooperation with evil. His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead accomplished these salvific remedies.
This doesn’t mean we no longer need God’s help.
Our final and complete deliverance for evil and sin has not yet occurred.
It will once we are freed from this material world….when we die. What shall we do until that time?
Three things: like Simeon, we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into our heart.
It is the Holy Spirit which gives us sight with regards to divine activity.
Like Simeon, we wait. And as we wait we pray. As we wait we fill our lives with Christian devotion.
Put ourselves in sacred places and with people who also wait.
Like Simeon, we testify. We proclaim the presence of God.
We give witness to the saving activity of Jesus Christ,
both as it is recounted in the Scriptures and as it is experienced in our daily living.
We give an account of our belief in Christ and the positive and life-giving effects
our beliefs have on our living in this world.
Today’s prayer: “O Lord, come to our aid. Fill us with Your Spirit that we might see and believe in Your Son Jesus Christ. Grant us Your peace and bring us one day into the fullness of Your eternal comfort. Amen!”