December 29, 2022
In basketball, there are instances when the designated scorer or “go-to-guy” could not get good shots during the early period of the game. When this happens, his coach would normally tell him to be patient and just keep on trying until he finds his familiar groove to shoot. But sometimes finding one’s familiar groove and rhythm of the game happens only at the last minute in which the shots that are being made could be very crucial if the game is tightly contested. The case of Simeon in our gospel reading is also like shooting crucial shots at the last minute of the game.
Simeon was a holy and righteous man waiting for the consolation of Israel. But the problem was he was already in his old age. Anything could happen to him that would frustrate his long wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. But he trusted the Lord until the right moment came, the “last minute” of his life when Joseph and Mary arrived at the Temple with their newborn son for the presentation. Simeon immediately went to them and took Jesus in his arms and blessed God, saying: “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.”
Known as the Nunc Dimittis, which is being used in the Liturgy of the Hours for night prayer, Simeon expressed his joy to witness the fulfillment of God’s promise in Jesus Christ. He waited for it patiently, maybe for a long time. He may be tired of the long wait, yes, but he did not give up; he continued to hope that one day before he would face death, he could witness the unfolding of God’s promise. And the right time came the “last minute” of his life, so to speak. Truly, God did not fail him.
Currently, we are still in the long season of Christmas. I say long because we began, although not in accord with our liturgical calendar, the celebration of Christmas as early as the start of the so-called “ber” months. Maybe the long celebration has literally and figuratively caused us to be exhausted and tired. Yes, with the many concerns preoccupying us in our day-to-day life, we may feel weary and tired. Thus, in a sense, we can also relate to Simeon’s experience. What we may be going through could be like an experience of being at the twilight of our waiting, an experience wherein our patience seems to be thinning out without any sign yet of God’s presence. How often do we feel tired of trusting in God, because things are not happening according to our expectations?
But it is in moments like this that we can learn from Simeon. Neither time nor old age was a hindrance for him to wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise. He was patiently waiting until the last crucial moment of his life when Jesus was presented to the Temple. He did not waver in waiting for the right moment because he trusted the Lord’s promise. And God did not fail him. Like Simeon, we are asked to be patient to get the right moment when we witness God’s hands working in us.
In what instances in your life did God deliver on his promise, even if it took a long time to fulfill?
Bp. Socrates Mesiona
Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa