“The true light has come, the light that enlightens every man who is born into this world. Let all of us, my brethren, be enlightened and made radiant by this light. Let all of us share in its splendor, and be so filled with it that no one remains in the darkness.”
– St. Sophronius of Jerusalem
On this Feast Day, we are celebrating an historic and Scriptural event – the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple, when forty days after Christ’s birth, Mary and Joseph, brought Him to the Temple to make the customary offering for purification; a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. The Holy Spirit enlightened the righteous Elder Simeon, called the God-receiver, who recognized that the child he held in his arms was the Messiah and God Incarnate. His Song is chanted at every Vespers service:
“Lord, now let Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word,for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.”
This is one of the great Feast Days of our Church, often called The Meeting of Our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ, because the incarnate God, the Lord Jesus Christ meets his people, Israel, in the Temple, represented by the righteous Elder Simeon and the Prophetess Anna. Indeed this Feast Day presents our Lord and Savior to us as well, our light and our salvation, the Light of the World, the light which no darkness can overcome.
Let us rejoice, for “the true light has come, the light that enlightens every man who is born into this world.” May we all be enlightened and made radiant by this light.