Did you ever wonder who Simeon was — as in Luke and the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple?
It would seem he was a mystic, perhaps known to Jesus’ family or at least many in their circle. We see in Luke 2:22-35, “Observing the Law of Moses, they took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man.”
We thus have that much to go on.
But he wasn’t just devout; he also seems to have been a mystic. Was he in the line of Padre Pio, a mystical saint like Teresa of Avila?
“It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death,” we are told, “until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord.”
He was a prophet.
Was he like Jeremiah?
True (and important to remember): the Holy Spirit speaks to all of us.
But this seemed special — like the revelation of Who Jesus was to John the Baptist, with again descent of the Holy Spirit.
“And when the parents brought in the child Jesus, he (Simeon) took Him into his arms and blessed God.” Blessed God! “Now, Master,” said Simeon, “you can let your servant go in peace, just as You promised.”
“Because my eyes have seen the salvation which You prepared for all the nations to see.”
Very specific, is this foresight, this revelation.
“A light to enlighten the pagans, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
Then Simeon turned to Mary and with yet more prophetic gravity said: “You see this Child: He is destined for the fall and the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected.”
For many rose and fell, and Jesus was rejected, as no one ever has been quite so rejected. “And a sword will pierce your own soul too,” Simeon told the Blessed Mother, “so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.”
Much mystery in those final words (or at least the final ones recorded).
A sword would also pierce Mary’s heart — and would lead to the uncovering of secret thoughts.
Was this the establishment of “Our Lady of Sorrows”?
And: what was meant by “secret thoughts”?
No one can really answer that, nor even say who Simeon was. Sometime between AD 565 and 578, a body believed to be that of Simeon was translated from Syria or Jerusalem to Constantinople,” says the online encyclopedia. “Sometime around the Siege of Constantinople (1203) the relics were seized and shipped to Venice; however, a storm forced the ship to put into the port of Zadar on the Dalmatian coast. The relics were first placed in the Velika Gospa (Church of the Virgin) and then later translated to the Church of St. Stephen, which became known as the Sanctuary of St. Simeon the Godbearer.”
Thoughts to contemplate, in this time of contemplation, in this deepest part of the lull (and prelude) called summer.
Pray always for purity and love
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