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Through the week I celebrated the Wedding of a couple of friends up in Glasgow.  It was a terrific day with everyone participating in the Mass and then the reception down in Ayrshire.  I’m sure you’ve all been at weddings and you’ll understand that on their Wedding day the happy couple have all sorts of dreams and hopes for their married life together.  However, as they stand in front of the altar saying “I will love you for the rest of my life”, I am sure they cannot imagine what will cause them to have a deep love.  At that starting-out stage, they cannot imagine what family they will have, what struggles they will know, what laughter and love they will share.  Although they are saying the words, they do not yet know at that point what will be the events that will deepen their Wedding Day words “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”  As my Granda would have said “it’s like a wheelbarrow - you’ve got it all before you.”

 

 

 

That sense of things stretching out before you was in my mind when I came to reflect on today’s Gospel reading.  In the midst of the story of Jesus being presented in the Temple, we have Simeon taking the Christ-child in his arms and blessing God saying “my eyes have seen the promised salvation.”  When I think of Simeon in this story, I always think of the prayerful women and men in the parishes I have worked – people of faith who, in spite of life’s struggles, seem to hold Jesus Christ in their arms recognising their Saviour and Messiah in front of them.  Yet the words that really struck me today came at the end when he said “you see this child?  He is destines for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel.”  It is as if Simeon has an insight into what Jesus will do with his life.  Like the insight I had the other day about the Wedding couple’s future, it is as if Simeon can see Jesus in ministry: when he is preaching to the crowds; when he is forgiving sinners; when he is calling his disciples; when he being persecuted, going to his death and then rising.  Simeon has the child in his arms but he seems to know and understand the Mission of the Messiah in his midst.

 

 

 

Of course, you and I know what Christ did.  You know, have read and understand what Christ did.  You remember the words of compassion Jesus preached.  You recall the imagine of Christ washing his disciple’s feet.  You can hear the words of forgiveness to the woman caught in adultery.  With faith you have often recalled Christ dying on the Cross and rising.  And you know that Christ didn’t do all of that for the world in general; he did it FOR YOU!  So today is a day for you, like Simeon, to hold the Christ-child in your arms.  See what Christ came on earth to do FOR YOU.  Hear the words of compassion that Christ will speak to your heart.  Listen to Christ as he calls you into discipleship in your family.  And say the words which said so long ago: “my eyes have seen the promised salvation.” 

 

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