In today's story it is almost as if Simeon and Anna are standing on tiptoe, waiting with hopeful expectation. They entertained no doubt at all that God would fulfill his promises because God had always done so. The only question was how God would do it. And in typical fashion, God chose the most unusual, surprising, unexpected and creative way way of doing it: being born as a human baby. Who would have thought? And he was not just born, but he was born into a very dark period historically, into the darkness of poverty and oppression.
This darkness is very real. And it envelops all of us, including the mother of Jesus and Jesus himself. There is no human journey that does not include darkness. But the Light is real too, and the Light of Christ is our hope. God always brings Light into the darkest corners of human existence. And this Light is for all. Each of us struggles with darkness, in some manner, shape or form. Each of us is also invited to stand on tiptoe, waiting and hoping.
Bartolomeo di Giovanni, Presentation in the Temple, 1488, tempera on wood, Ospedale degli Innocenti, Florence. Reflection by Abbot Damian for today's Feast.