Readings: 1 John 2:3-11; Luke 2:22-35
The older I grow, the more I appreciate the sense of fulfilment expressed by Simeon’s Canticle.
Having hopes is a risky business; and carrying hopes into old age is a tricky business. Should I define my hopes too narrowly, if I limit my expectations to my specifications, I could blind myself to the unexpected shape they can take. Life’s inevitable and necessary disillusionments would leave me embittered in the process.
And I say “necessary” disillusionments since all we human beings are prone to illusions and they can’t do us any good. I need to be free of those naïve illusions if I would live in reality. But the alternative need not be bitter cynicism.
I believe Simeon had to be unencumbered by both illusions and cynicism to recognize his long-awaited salvation in the Infant of a couple so poor that they could only afford a sacrifice of turtle-doves. Were trust and gratitude the attitudes that made all the difference for him?