In the Spirit
Luke 2: 22-35
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
I will spend the day attentive to the Holy Spirit and make this a particular point for my examination of conscience.
by Father Michael Goodyear, LC | Source: Catholic.net
December 29, 2008
days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to
Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male
that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord," and to offer the sacrifice of "a
pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons," in accordance with the dictate in the law of the
Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by
the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in
the Spirit into the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of
the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you
may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory
for your people Israel." The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the
fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a
sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I long to abide in your presence. You
refresh my soul and fill me with your light, even though I don’t turn to you often enough or
exercise enough faith when I do remember you. But here I am now, Lord, ready to spend a few precious
moments with you in the room of my heart. I want to pick up more readily on the inspirations of your
Spirit. I want to be a docile instrument in your hands to serve you and your Church.
Petition: Lord, teach me to be open to your Spirit.
Simeon, a Man of the Spirit
Luke tells us three times in this short
passage that Simeon was a man who was attentive to the Holy Spirit. The “Holy Spirit was upon
him” since “it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death
before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.” Simeon was in conversation with the Spirit and
learned to listen to his holy inspirations. Just as in Christ’s life he is oftentimes moved by
the Spirit—for example, to come to be baptized by John and subsequently to be “driven by
the Spirit” into the desert—so in Simeon’s life, he is not only inspired, but also
powerfully moved by the Spirit. We should take a moment in our meditation to admire this man who
lent himself totally to the movements of the Spirit.
2. Mary, Overshadowed by the
There is no one who demonstrates docility to the Spirit more than Mary
Immaculate. She didn’t put up any obstacles to the work of the Holy Spirit, as the Spirit
expresses to us through the Gospel writer: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power
of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). Mary responded with faithful obedience to
every request of God, to every motion of the Holy Spirit. As she stands here at the presentation of
her firstborn son, she now hears words spoken to her through the Spirit’s instrument:
“Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that
will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may
be revealed." Once more, Mary acquieces to the Holy Spirit and accepts the foretold suffering
far in advance.
3. Amazed by the Spirit
All of us
have heard incredible stories of moments in which the Holy Spirit clearly intervened or directed a
situation. Maybe we have experienced this in our own lives. Is there any reason why we
shouldn’t? Are there any obstacles that the Holy Spirit would find in our lives? He should be
the soul’s gentle guest. But how do we foster this friendship with the Holy Spirit? We have to
bring silence into our hearts so as to distinguish his voice from the noise of so many worldly
voices trying to drown out his word. We also have to be docile and obedient once we have heard
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, there are so many lessons to
be learned from your presentation in the Temple. I have taken one of them: the presence of your Holy
Spirit so evident in this Gospel passage. In the Christmas season we celebrate your being among us
as a tiny child. Yet, your whole life will show us how to be docile to the Holy Spirit. You have
sent him so that we might not be alone. May he always accompany me in life, and may he always remind
me of the many things you did and said, as you lead me to the Father’s house.
Resolution: I will spend the day attentive to the Holy Spirit and make this a
particular point for my examination of conscience.