Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Syrian Orthodox Church

Mayaltho (Maa'ltho - Entry of our Lord into the temple)

Sermon / Homily on St. Luke 2:22-40

Simeon - The Seer

by Rev. Dr. M. J. Joseph

Simeon, the Seer (Lk.2: 29-32)

Simeon, the Seer's bold leap into the life of Jesus and Mary are indeed an invitation to find an entry into the New Humanity of Christ. The prophetic words - "a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for revealing God's glory to the chosen people of God" (Lk. 2: 32) is meant for healing and transformation of the whole world. The spirit-inspired words of Simeon echo those found in the Second Isaiah and they speak of the dual mission of Jesus to the Jews and to the non-Jews alike. For Simeon, the Senior citizen, the Christ-child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel and for revealing the hidden thoughts of many.

In the prophetic books and the New Testament "light" always describes the coming of the Lord. "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness; on them has light shined" (Is. 9:2). The Seer's words to Mary, the mother of Jesus - "a sword will pierce through your soul" - foreshadow the suffering of Jesus in his redemptive work.

In the person of the Christ-child, people encounter God in the best possible way. All that is arrogant must be broken down; all that is low must be raised. God is the one who exposes the secret thoughts of all.

The Seer's prediction became true in the ministry of Jesus. The judgment and mercy of God convey the idea of the fall and rising of all. A bold vision for a radical Christian stance in mission is the great challenge that we discern from the Nunc Dimittis.

The presence of Anna with Simeon (Lk.2: 36-38) in the temple adds a new dimension to the bold vision of Simeon. The placing of a man-centered incident side by side with a woman-centered incident is significant as Luke, the Evangelist, wants to highlight the emerging one humanity in Christ.

Transformation of the created order is possible, if people are prepared to undergo metanoia (repentance) and transformation. Christ as the New Adam takes the divine and the human lead for a pastoral and prophetic ministry. In the birth of Jesus, "joy to the world" has become a divine possibility (shining of divine light) in our midst. In a world where people adore a materialistic culture, ethnic clashes, communal riots, racial discrimination, hatred and bitterness, our task is tremendous.

The vision of Simeon is to follow the radiance of light in our midst through repentance.

Source: Church Weekly

See Also:

The Consolation of Israel
by Jerry Goebel

The Jewish Christ of The Underclass
by Larry Broding

by John Jewell

Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for Mayaltho

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