This evening I translated the Holy Father’s homily for the Feast of the Presentation after Fr. Mark posted the original Italian text over at Vultus Christi. Here it is:
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI
Tuesday, February 2, 2011
Dear brothers and sisters!
The meeting of the two Testaments
In today’s Feast we contemplate the Lord Jesus, whom Mary and Joseph present at the temple “to offer him to the Lord” (Lk 2:22). In this gospel scene the mystery of the Virgin’s Son, consecrated by the Father, having come into the world to faithfully accomplish His will (cf. Heb. 10:5-7), is revealed. Simeon points him out as a “light to enlighten the nations” (Lk 2:32) and announces with a prophetic word his supreme offering to God and his final victory (cf. Lk 2:32-35). It is the meeting of the two Testaments, Old and New. Jesus enters into the old Temple, He who is the new Temple of God: he comes to visit his people, bringing obedience to the Law to fulfillment and inaugurating the last days of salvation.
The light that comes to enlighten the world
It is interesting to observe closely this entrance of the Child Jesus into the solemnity of the temple, into a great hustle and bustle of so many people occupied by their duties: the priests and Levites with their turns at service, the many faithful and pilgrims desiring to meet the holy God of Israel. But none of them realizes a thing. Jesus is a child like every other, the first-born son of two very simple parents. Even the priests prove unable of grasping the signs of the new and particular presence of the Messiah and Savior. Only two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, discover the great news. Led by the Holy Spirit, they find in
this child the fulfillment of their long waiting and watching. Both contemplate the light of God, who comes to enlighten the world, and their prophetic gaze opens into the future, as an announcement of the Messiah: Lumen ad revelationem gentium! (Lk 2:32). In the prophetic attitude of the two venerable elders, the entire Old Covenant expresses the joy of meeting the Redeemer. In the face of the Child, Simeon and Anna grasp intuitively that He is the long-awaited One.
(Continue reading at Vultus Christi.)