Today is such a powerful celebration. Really, the final event in the story of Christmas. Infants were to be consecrated to God forty days after their birth, so here we are. 40 days, February 2nd.
One of the most beautiful parts of today’s readings are what we call the Canticle of Simeon:
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.
Simeon was promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Christ promised by God (Luke 2:25). So this verse is the joy of a man who can now die in peace, having fulfilled his destiny and the word of God.
Do I think that I’ll be able to die in peace, having fulfilled God’s mission for me in this life? I can only hope and pray.
I find it interesting that today is almost exactly halfway through winter. And there’s a vague connection to Groundhog Day, but I don’t know that I’ve found clear logic for why these are together. If you can point me toward a good answer, let me know!