Advent Reflection – Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

The prophet Simeon believed God’s promise that he would not leave this earth without having seen the Christ of the Lord. On this day the glory of that light shone in his eyes and he was able to comprehend what this miracle truly meant for Mary and Joseph as well as for us. Today’s readings remind us that the Incarnation is a feast of action not just passive reflection and wonder. In the gospel reading Simeon responds to the direction of the Spirit and goes to the temple just in time to encounter the Holy Family as they seek to fulfil the commandments of the law. Because Simeon followed the road God marked out for him, he was able to see the light of revelation and begin to understand the revolution this light would bring into the lives of all who opened their eyes and hearts to this new revelation. We, like Mary and Joseph, cannot possibly understand what this new Light will mean in our lives other than the fact that it calls forth from us a response of loving action. As John tells us in the first reading, this is not a new commandment. To live in love as God commands has been the norm of life from the beginning of time. This commandment, however, is newly refined in the light of Jesus Christ for we now know that to live as God wishes us to live is to walk just as Jesus walked  To walk as Jesus walked means that we must embrace our vocation to be the light which reveals God to the nations through our actions of love and community, of obedience and sacrifice, of solidarity and unity, of otherness and openness. Today we pray that the Light of Christ may remove all darkness which has blinded our eyes!