Congratulations, my beloved brothers and sisters, on this great feast, as we commemorate the long-anticipated meeting of man and God at the temple.
The righteous Simeon had waited for this moment all his life. How did he envision it? Did he expect Him to arrive in full splendour - with a fiery sword, on a chariot and in the company of angels? Many of his contemporaries would have imagined it this way. Did he expect Him to project power and might, as the rest of his contemporaries did?
Simeon's meeting with Christ defied all his expectations. He saw the infant Jesus, and immediately he knew that He was the Lord Incarnate. He bowed to Him, took Him in his arms and sought His leave to depart in peace.
How might we picture our meeting with the Lord? For many, it will come as a quiet and unexpected joy. Our hearts will wake up to His presence and infinite love; we will discover the joy of forgiveness and prayer for the whole world. We will see a kindred spirit in every neighbour. Our every liturgy at the Church is like a meeting and reunion with Him.
It took Saint Simeon many years to prepare to meet the Lord. How can we prepare ourselves for our meeting? The longer we live, the more we realise how our human ways diverge from God’s ways. We notice the greatness of the abyss between the laws of the world and those of God's love. We understand how vital it is for us to hold on to Christ and follow Him along His narrow path, and we become ever more aware how hard the world is trying to lure us away from Christ's way and lead us to our demise in the distant country. (Luke 19:12).
At the Church, we light candles. Eventually, they will burn down, but their light will dispel the darkness. Our meeting with God sets our souls on fire. We do not come to Him to have an easy life. We meet Him to brighten the lives of others with our faith and bring joy and hope to those around us. We come to fill the hearts of others with God's peace with the Holy Spirit inside us. We do not have to make fiery speeches or engage in heated debates. We only need to have God in our lives.
When we meet our Lord, we free ourselves from all doubt; all the pieces of the jigsaw come to their places. We thank the Lord from our hearts being at Church and coming to the Cup; we accept joyfully His great gift of everlasting life that others who have not met God in their lives will not experience. May we all live these moments of meeting God. Greetings to all of you on this great feast!