they meet a man named Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the holy Spirit was upon him” (Luke 2:25)
As soon as Joseph and Mary finish presenting Jesus to the Lord they meet a man named Simeon. “This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.’ The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him.” (Luke 2:25b-33)
Pope Benedict helps us get to know Simeon. “The old man Simeon and the prophetess Anna, prompted by the Spirit of God, appear in the Temple, and as representatives of faithful Israel they greet the ‘Lord’s Christ’ (2: 26). Three things are said to us regarding Simeon: he is righteous (just), he is devout, and he is looking for the consolation of Israel. … Simeon is ‘devout’— his whole person is oriented toward God. He is inwardly close to the Temple, he lives the encounter with God and awaits the ‘consolation of Israel.’ He lives for the Redeemer, for the one who is to come. … Simeon is a man of hope and expectation, and in this sense he already has the Holy Spirit upon him. We could say that he is a spiritual man and is therefore attuned to God’s call, to his presence. So on this occasion he speaks as a prophet. First he takes the child Jesus into his arms and praises God”. 
Simeon lives “attuned to God’s call, to his presence”. In fact, the common element of those in the Christmas story is that they lived “attuned to God’s call, to his presence”. Mary and Joseph lived attuned to God’s presence. The shepherds and the Magi lived attuned to God’s presence. Simeon and Anna lived attuned to God’s presence. They heard the voice of God; they felt the presence of God; they were led by the initiative of God.
I would imagine that many of us would love to live attuned to God’s presence. Imagine what work or going to meetings would look like if we were attuned to God’s presence. Imagine what marriage or celibacy would look like if we were attuned to God’s presence. Imagine what paying bills or raising kids or sitting in traffic would look like if we were attuned to God’s presence. Imagine what the ordinary things of life would look like if we were attuned to God’s presence. Now, there may be a little quiet lie whispered that sounds like, “I’m not that holy” or “ I’m not a saint” or “I could never live that close to God”. Trust me: that’s not God’s voice. He desires us. He wants us to live attuned to Him so much that He became man and entered the human experience.
Merry Christmas. The gift that God wants to give us today is His presence. He’s already there: in the ordinary, in the mundane, in the everyday. He’s there; He’s with you; He’s within. No matter what you face today, God is with you. He’s speaking; He’s leading; He’s reaching out to you. Let’s turn off the iPhones, the iPods, and the iPads. Let’s turn off the radio, the TV, and the internet. Today, let’s live quieter so that regardless of what life looks like on the outside we can be attuned to the presence of God on the inside.
For your prayer
The Psalms are the sacred music of a chosen people written as songs to praise God. Imagine how often Simeon would have sung the Psalms as he prayed in the Temple. Begin by slowly reading Psalm 85:9-14 and Psalm 143:6-12. Now, prayerfully imagine the scene in Luke 2:25. Be in the scene. Be with Mary and Joseph. Be with Simeon. Notice their freedom. Notice how they live within. Notice how they lived attuned.
“Jesus, I want a relationship with you. Teach me how to be in relationship with you and how to stay in relationship with you. Teach me how to live attuned to your presence.”
 Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, pg. 83-84
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© Fr. Mark Toups, 2012. Expressed written permission required for duplication.