“…Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Now you are dismissing your servant in peace, O Master, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Lk 2: 27-32)
The hymns and prayers of the feast of The Presentation/Meeting of the Lord, celebrated today according to the “New” Calendar, make a big deal of Simeon “seeing” the Lord as Simeon did. The elder saw the child physically, with his eyes, and also recognized and accepted Him in his heart, as the Saviour of all peoples: “My eyes have seen your salvation,” he says. This vision is revealed to Simeon because he is open to it; because the elder, despite his age, is teachable and willing to be “guided by the Spirit.”
Simeon’s openness is not forced upon him, but rather his choice. Many of us are shown “salvation” every day, but choose not to recognize or accept it, as God tells Isaiah in a passage also read at the Vespers of this feast: “…you shall see indeed, but you shall not perceive. For the heart of this people has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed…” (Is 6: 9-10)
So let me clear away some of the hoarded baggage in my heart that may be blocking my vision, like resentments or self-pity or self-centered fear. And let me open up to the “salvation” God wants to show me today in my various situations, relationships, and challenges. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” in the midst of all of it.