Why did the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph bring the baby Jesus to the Temple? Because the Law of the Old Covenant commanded that every firstborn son be consecrated to the Lord and redeemed by a sacrifice.
Why did the Law require this? Because the freedom of the nation of Israel rested on the death of the firstborn throughout the land of Egypt, in the days of Moses. The consecration of the firstborn, as the book of Exodus puts it,
will be like a sign on your hand and a band on your forehead that with a strong hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt (13:16).
Day and night, St. Simeon kept this sign on his hand and this band on his forehead. He kept a perpetual vigil of faith.
The Lord our God, the mighty and strong, slow to anger, swift to bless—He liberated us, brought us out of nothingness itself. He gave us our land, flowing with milk and honey. He gave us this holy Temple on Abraham’s mountain.
He did it all for a reason, His reason. And now we await the fulfillment of His plan, the consummation of our nation’s task. It will come in God’s time; it will come at the right moment.
I may grow old and blind and weary. But I will wait on the Almighty hand. I will wait here at the very spot where Abraham trusted God. Abraham trusted to the point of his own firstborn’s death…
So whispered Simeon to himself. And then the Blessed Mother walked through the door, with the God of Abraham in her arms.
One thought on “A Vigil Ended”
Wouldn’t it be great if our vigil was similarly rewarded in this life. But, failing that, we can look forward to the next.
In the meantime, still desperately seeking HIM, after all these years.