Feast of the Meeting of the Lord

Archbishop Seraphim : Homily
We emulate the Love of the two Elders
Feast of the Meeting of the Lord
[Given outside of the Archdiocese]
2 February, 2009
Hebrews 7:7-17 ; Luke 2:22-40

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Today, when we are actually present with the Lord as He is presented in the Temple, we see Him with His parents, fulfilling the prescriptions of the Law. He is the first-born Son. According to the old Law, the first-born son had to be brought to the Temple, and a sacrifice had to be offered to the Lord on His behalf in the Temple. However, today, with the Lord’s Presentation in the Temple a great change is coming. People are not prepared for it yet, because many of them have apparently not been listening to the Lord properly ; they have not been paying attention to the Prophets.

Nevertheless, the Lord today provides two persons who had been prepared during their whole lives for this moment. These two highly-regarded persons are testifying about how the Lord, during their very lifetimes, is fulfilling all that has been previously prophesied in expectation of the Messiah. They were faithful persons who did understand the Law and the Prophets. Simeon (we call him the God-receiver) today takes our Saviour as a little Child into His arms, and he proclaims to the people what is the significance of this Person who is going to be the Saviour of the world. Simeon has been waiting his whole life for this moment. He had known, somehow, in his heart by the Grace of the Holy Spirit that this moment would come. He then says : “‘Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your Salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples’”. In effect he is saying : “O Lord, now, I can go. As this Child is brought into the Temple, I can see the beginning of the work of salvation. I can see the progress of the fulfilment of Your promises. I can see that the end of my days is now here. You are letting me go in peace”.

To confirm this understanding of Simeon, the God-receiver, the Lord gives us Anna, the Prophetess. She, also, confirmed from her life-experience of reading the Scriptures, and glorifying the Lord every day in the Temple, that this Child is for our salvation.

It is truly important for us to remember on this day how the Lord prepared for the coming of the Saviour. The Lord always prepares. He cares for you and for me in this way. He cares for all of us, His creatures, in this way, because He has always been preparing. We, who know Christ, the fulfilment of everything, we, who live in Christ, must have our hearts open always to the activity of this same love amongst us. The Lord God has not stopped being present with us ; the Lord God has not detached Himself from us after the confirmation of all the work of salvation in Christ in His Death, Resurrection, Ascension, and the Sending of the Holy Spirit. He continues to be with us to this day. He is caring for each one of us. He is preparing the way in our lives for each one of us. The Lord in His love is with us. God is with us.

In Great Compline we sing : “Understand all you people, and submit yourselves, for God is with us”. God is with you, and He is with me, His beloved children. He continues to prepare the way for you and for me in the heavenly Kingdom. With the eyes of our hearts open, let us always look for His guidance and His presence with us. Let us allow Him to bring us into the heavenly Kingdom, into the place that is being prepared for us, so that now and in eternity we may glorify our Saviour, Jesus Christ, together with the unoriginate Father, and the all-holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now, and ever, and unto the ages of ages.