It had been revealed to him … that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. (Luke 2:26)
Do babies ever get switched at birth? There have been times when a baby was accidently given to the wrong family at the hospital. It’s rare, especially now that many hospitals have special procedures in place to reduce such risks, but mistakes still happen. Sometimes, even the parents can’t spot their own child in a crowded nursery!
So imagine the challenge that poor Simeon had. He spent years at the Temple waiting for a special baby that he had never met. And he had no idea what that baby would look like. All he knew was that he would not die before he had laid eyes on Israel’s Messiah.
But Simeon wasn’t in too helpless a situation. He had a secret helper who could point out the Messiah no matter how crowded the Temple became. So as Simeon scanned the faces and waited to catch a glimpse of the promised One, he knew that the Holy Spirit would nudge him toward just the right person. Patiently he waited. Carefully he looked. And trustingly he listened.
The Holy Spirit is doing the same thing for us today that he did for Simeon so long ago. And he’s doing it on a much larger scale. Back then, he helped Simeon spot the Messiah in the face of one infant. But today, he is helping us see Christ in the eyes of every person we meet. He is helping us see the dignity and value of everyone around us because they all bear the image and likeness of Christ. Whether it’s the new baby crying loudly during Mass on Sunday, the reclusive neighbor down the street, the co-worker with the offensive political views, or the kindly cashier at the market—each of them reflects the Lord in one way or another. Each of them is a unique revelation of who God is and how he works. And that means each of them is worthy of your respect.
May the Holy Spirit open our eyes to see Christ today.
“Lord, help me take time to look into the faces of your people today. Teach me to value each person as a child of God.”~WAU