“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

After the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph offered a sacrifice at the Temple in Jerusalem according to the Law as specified in Leviticus 12. The sacrifice was the one for poor people, 2 turtledoves or 2 pigeons. By performing this ritual, they demonstrated their faith in the Lord. At the time they were aware that Jesus was called to serve a special purpose in God’s kingdom as the Messiah. The actual way He would exercise His ministry was not yet clear. Yet on this particular day they began to understand as they heard the words of Simeon and Anna two elderly devout Jews who had been led by the Spirit of the Lord to meet with Mary and Joseph that day. They confirmed the revelation which had already been made known by the Lord through angels as they proclaimed the salvation of the Lord through His anointed Messiah.

Both Simeon and Anna realized that now they had seen the salvation of God. Now, the promise of God had been fulfilled. Simeon spoke a prophetic word that the Lord had ordained for him to speak all his life, a word confirmed by the prophetess Anna.These words were from the prophet Isaiah and indicate that this child he held was the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation for all mankind. The Messiah was a light to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. Salvation has come to the entire world in this one baby. The Jews were not the only ones to benefit from God’s salvation. The promise was extended even to their enemies and those who had enslaved them, to those who did not even know then that the Lord is the one true God.

We Christians ought to consider this. Jesus is not merely to be glorified within us or the Church. Jesus does not belong to us. We belong to Him. We are His servants. He is in us as a light that we must give to the world, to strangers, to those we fear and hate, to our enemies. He is the light of truth, the light of peace for the entire world.