First reading 1 John 2:3-11

Anyone who loves his brother is living in the light

We can be sure that we know God
only by keeping his commandments.
Anyone who says, ‘I know him’,
and does not keep his commandments,
is a liar,
refusing to admit the truth.
But when anyone does obey what he has said,
God’s love comes to perfection in him.
We can be sure that we are in God
only when the one who claims to be living in him
is living the same kind of life as Christ lived.
My dear people,
this is not a new commandment that I am writing to tell you,
but an old commandment
that you were given from the beginning,
the original commandment which was the message brought to you.
Yet in another way, what I am writing to you,
and what is being carried out in your lives as it was in his,
is a new commandment;
because the night is over
and the real light is already shining.
 
Anyone who claims to be in the light
but hates his brother
is still in the dark.
But anyone who loves his brother is living in the light
and need not be afraid of stumbling;
unlike the man who hates his brother and is in the darkness,
not knowing where he is going,
because it is too dark to see.
 

Responsorial Psalm 95(96):1-3,5-6

Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
 
O sing a new song to the Lord,
  sing to the Lord all the earth.
  O sing to the Lord, bless his name.
 
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
 
Proclaim his help day by day,
  tell among the nations his glory
  and his wonders among all the peoples.
 
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
 
It was the Lord who made the heavens,
  his are majesty and state and power
  and splendour in his holy place.
 
Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.
 

Gospel Luke 2:22-35

‘You have prepared a light to enlighten the pagans’

When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
 
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel.’
 
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
 
_______________________________
 

For my eyes have seen…

Simeon was an elderly man who was “an upright and devout man” whose only desire was to see the promised Saviour before he died. On that day, prompted by the Holy Spirit, he went to the Temple and saw Mary and Joseph with the child in their arms. Immediately, with the  eyes of faith, Simeon recognised Jesus as the Promised One of God, as the “Christ of the Lord”. He took the child in his arms and praised  God.
 
Likewise, in our journey of faith, we too have seen Jesus, our Saviour, our Friend and Companion. Looking at our life’s experiences, we have encountered Christ’s presence of love, goodness and truth in the happy events of life, in the kindness of others, in the difficult circumstances, in the silence of prayer. We are never alone. The Holy Spirit, who led Simeon to encounter the child Jesus, always leads us to take paths towards Jesus each day.
 
Question for reflection:
What prevents me from seeing Jesus present in my life?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.