Receive the Light and Become the Light

The Song of Simeon
[25] Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

[26] And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
[27] And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,
[28] he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
[29] “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace,simeon rembrandt
according to thy word;
[30] for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
[31] which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
[32] a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to thy people Israel.” (Luke 2.25-32)

At baptism, a candle burns – the Paschal candle – representing Christ Jesus as “the light of the world.” From this candle is lit another candle, representing the newly baptized as “the light of the world.”

We receive the light and, by grace, become the light.

“Come receive the light from the light that is never overtaken by night, and glorify Christ, Who is risen from the dead!”

“Everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”  (Ephesians 5:13 NIV)

Blessed Simeon prefigures this wonderful mystery.

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Who is there today who, as he holds a lighted candle in his hand, does not immediately think of the old man who today received Jesus in his arms, the Word in the flesh, the light in the wax, and who bore witness that he was the light that shines upon all nations? The old man was himself a burning flame that enlightens and gives witness to the light, he who, in the Holy Spirit with which he was filled, came to receive, O God, your love within your Temple (Ps 47[48].10) and bear witness that you are the love and light of your people…

Rejoice, just old man; look now at what you had once foreseen: darkness has disappeared from the world; the nations walk by your light (Is 60.3). The whole earth is filled with the glory (Is 6.3) of this light which, in the past, you used to hide in your heart and which today illumines your eyes… Embrace the Wisdom of God, O blessed old man, and may your youth be renewed (Ps 102[103].5). Receive the mercy of God in your heart and your old age will know the sweetness of mercy. “He will rest in my bosom”, says Scripture (Wsd 1.12). Even when I give him back to his mother, he will continue to dwell with me; my heart will be filled with his mercy and, even more, the heart of his mother… I give thanks and rejoice for you, full of grace, for you gave birth to the mercy I have received; the candle which you prepared I am holding in my hands…

And you, brethren, look at the candle that burns in the hands of Simeon; light your candles with his light… Then, not only will you bear a light in your hands, but you yourselves will be a light for others. A light in your hearts, a light in your lives, a light for your brothers and sisters. Source: Blessed Guerric of Igny (c.1080-1157), 1st Sermon for the Purification, 2-3

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How long did Simeon wait for the fulfillment of what was spoken to him by the Holy Spirit?! How long?! He waited in trust. He persevered in trust.

He, on that day, held Christ Jesus. Today, Simeon, the Word of God to you is fulfilled.

Simeon has always been a light to me — an inspiration.

I must ask myself these same questions, on a daily basis, in each situation. “Am I waiting on the Lord in trust to fulfill all that He has spoken to me?!” “Do I seek receive and be this Light of fulfillment? Where is the darkness in me that seeks to hid or frustrate the shining forth of this light? Lord, have mercy!”

Lord, I hear that You desire to present Yourself to me in and through each person and circumstance for me to receive and hold. Grant me grace to seek and serve You in all persons and, in so doing, to receive You into the arms of my heart and hold You. Grant me to “be and do Simeon” in each and every encounter.

Indeed, “Lord have mercy!”

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One thought on “Receive the Light and Become the Light

  1. If I see that I seek, receive and be the Light of fulfillment, I am in that very moment falling into illusion and perhaps pride. If I find a dark place in me that hides this Light, I am overcome by my own weakness, and in that moment, am most likely to allow the Light to shine forth. It is a paradox.

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