“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, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, 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)
Today, on the great feast of the Meeting of the Lord (OC), we’re celebrating an encounter of the Lord with an old man, Simeon, who allowed himself to be “guided by the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit guided him to “come into the temple” and to “see” with his own eyes, and embrace in his arms, a Child and the “salvation” He is bringing. The encounter allows Simeon to die as he lived, “in peace” with the Lord and His life-creating Spirit.
We’re also exposed this morning to news of a very different kind of encounter, of many children with a young gunman, who was guided by a very different kind of “spirit” to come to a high school in Florida and open fire in its hallways. Lord, have mercy! This morning, as I mourn the reposed and the tragedy of this young man’s choice of “spirit,” I pray that God re-affirm in me my choice, to be guided in my comings and goings by His Spirit. Come and abide in us, Lord, that we may “see” Your salvation, embrace Your peace, and pass it on to others in a chaotic world.