February 2, 2016
Luke 2:22-40 - And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."
And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. (RSV)
Come, Receive Christ - the True Light – The mystery of Christ had been prepared even before the very foundation of the world but was manifested in the last ages of time. It became a light for those who in darkness and error had fallen under the devil’s hand. These were they “who serve the creature instead of the Creator” (Rom 1:25) worshiping moreover the dragon, the author of evil, and the impure throng of devils, to whom they attach the honor due to God. Yet God the Father called them to the acknowledgement of the Son who is the true Light….
Christ therefore became the Gentiles’ light for revelation, but also for the glory of Israel. For even granting that some of them proved insolent and disobedient, and with minds that did not understand, yet there is a remnant there, saved and admitted to glory through Christ. The first fruits of these were the divine disciples, the brightness of whose renown lightens the whole world.
In another sense, Christ is the glory of Israel, for he came out of Israel according to the flesh, though he is God over all, and blessed forevermore. Amen. (St. Cyril of Alexandria)
- Vespers - 1) Exodus 12:51, 13:1-3,10-12,14-16, 22:29, Leviticus 12:1-4,6-8, Numbers 8:17 (Composite) 2) Isaiah 6:1-12, 3) Isaiah 19:1-5,12,16,19-21
- Matins - Luke 2:25-32
- Divine Liturgy - Hebrews 7:7-17, Luke 2:22-40
The icon is a detail of the Meeting of our Lord with Simeon (cf Luke 2:22-40).