perseverance and the presentation spirit
"He came to the temple now, inspired by the Spirit." —Luke 2:27
"The Holy Spirit was upon" Simeon (Lk 2:25). He had long awaited the consolation of Israel and the coming of the Messiah (Lk 2:25-26). The Holy Spirit had even revealed to Simeon that he would personally see the Christ before he died (Lk 2:26).
The Holy Spirit also was upon Anna. Though Luke's Gospel doesn't explicitly link Anna and the Spirit, it calls her a prophetess (Lk 2:36). She used the Spirit's gift of prophecy. The Spirit also inspired Anna to constantly fast, pray, and worship (Lk 2:37).
Unlike many Israelites before them, Anna and Simeon persevered in readiness. They were instantly ready to act when Jesus appeared (see Mal 3:2). Many other Israelites weren't ready for the Messiah, failed to recognize Him, and so rejected Him.
Why did Simeon and Anna recognize Jesus when others couldn't?
- When Jesus came, they readily spoke of Him. Since people speak from the abundance of their hearts, this shows their hearts were always filled with God (Lk 6:45).
- They wouldn't allow a long wait to dim their hope in the Lord. Their suffering and personal holiness led to constant, vigilant, living hope (Rm 5:3-5).
- Though the Holy Spirit hadn't been poured out, they were mysteriously "inspired by the Spirit" (Lk 2:27). They yielded to the Spirit rather than ignoring Him.
"Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22). Stay present to Jesus (Mk 14:37). Be ready for Jesus like Simeon and Anna.
Prayer: Jesus, may I live in the present (Mt 6:34), and present myself daily to You. Each day I will wait for You in joyful hope.
Promise: "He is able to help those who are tempted." —Heb 2:18
Praise: Praise Jesus, God Incarnate, Who was made subject to the law for our sakes.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 14, 2007
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