Readings for Today
Whenever families get together, invariably there is the telling of stories. One of the most precious faculties given to human beings is memory. Using our memory, we can make real, at least in some way, events in the past. In a way, our memory is a time of time machine. Memories often come alive with the telling of stories. The gospel today presents us with a powerful example of a person who remained true to the experience of God, both in the present, and in the memory of the promise made some time ago.
“It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.” Over and over again Simeon wondered, I suspect, if today was the day. But it also seems clear that day after day Simeon remained faithful to God and the promise. We learn that Simeon was righteous and devout. And his constant search for God comes to fruition when he encounters not only Mary and Joseph, but recognizes in their son Jesus, the Christ. God has kept his promise.
Simeon could believe the promise because his memory made this promise real. He was able to experience again the encounter and voice of the Holy Spirit because he remembered the day, the moment, the encounter. His memory of God, and his present experience of God made clear the meaning and purpose of his life. In fact, we really know very little about Simeon. What gets remembered is his faithfulness to God and the encounter with the Holy Family.