John 2: 3-11
Luke 2: 22-35
In today’s Gospel we see Simeon, a man who has lived his dream. "Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled; my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel." What a wonderful feeling Simeon enjoyed, living his dream and walking in the light!
Today John reminds us we too can "walk in the light" in our relationship with Jesus. All we have to do is love our brother and not hate anymore. Pretty simple huh? Reminds me of some earlier idealism we celebrated in the 60’s; peace, love, rock and roll, etc. In the words of the Beatles, "all we need is love"! Too bad it’s not that easy, especially in our world of drones, torture, addiction, 24 hour hateful comments on the news, social injustice and poverty.
Facing all these realities, maybe we must simply begin loving exactly where we are. We have to love today, right now, the people God places in front of us. I am reminded of the song from the musical "Hair" which laments that it’s "easy to be hard" to those who are closest to us while at the same time passionately attacking the dragons of inequity and injustice. To borrow and amend some more lyrics, we have to "love the ones we’re with"; and this includes the very next person we see.
If we do love the people God puts in our path today, then loving our brothers and sisters and our relationship with Jesus become a marriage in which God’s light is revealed. This light then illuminates the injustice and inequity in our world with hope and the glory of God! Indeed we become with Jesus, in the words from our Alleluia verse, "a light of revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel!"
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of our Passionist Family who volunteers at the Passionist Assisted Living Community in Louisville, Kentucky.