Based on Luke 2:22-38
Tessa yawned as she opened her math book.
“You look tired this morning, Tess,” said sister Alberta.”
“I didn’t get much sleep last night, Sister. We had a party for our new baby sister, Aileen. Everyone was there.Even my great-grandfather Donahue. He’s 88 years old. When he held Aileen, he said, ‘Nunc Dimittis’. I know that’s Latin, but what does it mean?”
©2019 Candace J Hardy
Sister Alberta smiled. “He’s saying what Simeon said when Jesus was presented at the temple.”
“Who is Simeon,” the class said, all at once.
“Close your math books. I have a wonderful story for you. “
“Just when we think Christmas is over
and Lent is a month away, we are caught up with another wonderful surprise. Advent taught us to wait, but did you know there were people who waited for Jesus’ coming in his day?
Jewish people who studied scripture were waiting for a Messiah, and many of them knew that Jesus was the Messiah for whom they waited. But there are two other individuals who were waiting for Jesus as well.
According to Jewish law, forty days after a mother gave birth, she needed to go to the temple to purify herself. Often she brought an offering, perhaps a lamb or turtle doves as gifts.
On the day of Jesus’ Presentation, there stood outside the door, a very holy man. His name was Simeon. He was very old and desired very much to live until he could see the Lord. With him was the Prophetess Anna. She was a Jewish woman from the Jewish Tribe of Asher. She and Simeon both know that Jesus’ birth fulfilled ancient prophesy.
When Simeon held the baby he said, ‘Lord, let your servant depart in peace, according to your word. For my eyes have seen your salvation which you have given to everybody. A light to enlighten the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) and the glory of your people, Israel.’
That’s the meaning of Nunc Dimittis
Pope Sergius, at the beginning of the 8th century, began a candlelight procession and people received and distributed blessed candles. Therefore, the Presentation of Our Lord, is also known as Candlemas.
So, On February 2, when the world is wondering what Puxatawny Phil, the famous groundhog, makes promises about the next six weeks’ weather, we Catholics stand with Simeon and Anna at the door of the temple, and think of what Jesus has promised.”