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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Christmas: December 29th

Gospel text (Lk 2,22-35): When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the baby up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (…). There lived in Jerusalem at this time a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel, and he had been assured by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord.

So he was led into the Temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus (…). Simeon took the child in his arms and blessed God, saying, «Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for you have fulfilled your word and my eyes have seen your salvation (…). Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, «See him; he will be for the rise or fall of the multitudes of Israel. He shall stand as a sign of contradiction, while a sword will pierce your own soul (…)».

Jesus Christ, "Mystery of Redemption"

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, the Gospel portrays Mary in the act of an unconditional offering of her Son to the Temple. There, Simeon comes out as a bearer of an ancient hope, and the Spirit of the Lord spoke to his heart. This is why he could contemplate the One whom numerous prophets and kings had desired to see: Christ, Light of revelation for all Nations.

Simeon recognizes that Child as the Savior, but he foresaw —thanks to the Spirit— that the destinies of humanity would be played out around Him, and the He would have to suffer deeply from those who rejected Him; he proclaimed the identity and mission of the Messiah with words that form one of the hymns of the newborn Church: the "Nunc dimittis" ("Now, Lord, you can let your servant go in peace"). Having "touched" the salvation, the enthusiasm was so great that for Simeon to live and to die were one and the same.

—The first person to be associated with Christ on the path of proven faith and shared suffering was His Mother, Mary.