Tuesday, November 16, 2004 +

GS 010 Simeon and Anna

When the month’s purification required by the Mosaic Law is over, his parents take him to Jerusalem. They sacrifice a pair of turtledoves and dedicate their son to God, in accordance with the teaching, “Whatever opens the womb belongs to God.” In Jerusalem a devout and holy man named Simeon has been waiting for Israel’s liberation. The Holy Spirit is in him and has promised him he won’t die before seeing the Lord’s Anointed. The Spirit leads him to the Temple, where Mary and Joseph have brought the infant. Praising God, he takes the baby in his arms.

SIMEON. Lord, now let your servant go in peace, as you said to me. My eyes see the deliverance you have prepared for every people: a light enlightening the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

The old man blesses Mary and Joseph.

SIMEON to Mary. The child is destined for the death and resurrection of many in Israel, and as a witness which will be condemned so that hearts will be opened: yes, besides, a sword will pierce your own heart.

A prophetess steps forward, thanks God, and speaks of Jesus to those yearning for Israel’s freedom. She’s Anna, Phanuel’s daughter in Asher’s tribe, an old woman, married for seven years and a widow for eighty-four, who spends her life in the Temple praising God night and day with fasting and prayer.