One Minute Reflection – 2 February – The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, Candlemas – Mal 3:1-4, Luke 2:22-32
“And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God …” – Luke 2:27-28
REFLECTION – “Your lamps must be burning in your hands” (Lk 12:35). By this outward sign let us remind ourselves of the joy of Simeon, carrying the Light in his hands … We must be burning with love and radiant with good deeds and so, take up Christ in our hands with Simeon … Let us discuss this charming custom of the Church of bearing lights aloft on this feast day … Could anyone hold up a lighted candle in his hands on this day, without at once remembering that old man, who on this same day, took up in his arms, Jesus, God’s Word, clothed in flesh like a candle-flame clothed in wax and affirmed Him to be “the Light which would be a beacon for the Gentiles.” Surely he was that “burning and radiant lamp” (Jn 5:35; 1,7) which bore witness to the Light. For this purpose he came in the Spirit, who had filled him, into the temple, that he might “receive, O God, your loving-kindness in the midst of your temple” (Ps 48:10) and declare him to be loving-kindness indeed and the light of your own people.
Truly, O holy Simeon, in the quiet contentment of old age, you carried this Light not simply in your hands but in the very dispositions of your heart. You were like a lamp-standard, seeing so clearly how much the Gentiles would one day be lit up, while reflecting … the bright rays of our faith. Old, yet still sincere, you can now be happy, in that, you really see what once you but foresaw. Gone is the world’s gloom, “the Gentiles bask in this light of yours,” “the whole earth is full of his glory” (Is 60:3; 6:3).” … Blessed Guerric of Igny O.Cist. (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot
PRAYER – Almighty, eternal God, we humbly beseech Your majesty that, as Your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in the nature of our flesh, so may You grant us to be presented to You, with purified minds. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).