“DID YOU SEE MY FUTURE TOO?” (Lk 2:22-35): 29 December 2007 (Saturday)
In the gospel story today, Mary and Joseph take the child Jesus to the temple in accordance with Jewish law and consecrate him to the Lord. But there in the temple the old man Simeon, taking the baby Jesus into his arm, blesses the Lord, for he has long waited for this day. He sees the baby’s future and speaks of how the child is “destined for the rise and fall of many in Israel.”
Today I ask the Lord: “When I was a child, did you also see my future? When you took me into your arms, an infant with all my years still ahead of me, my life still an empty canvas, did you also see the ‘rises and falls’ that I would cause in my life?”
It’s a rhetorical question. Of course you saw my future clearly. All-knowing and all-seeing, you have always before you our past and our future as an everpresent now. Even then, when I was but a child, you knew the good deeds that I would accomplish in my life, as well as the mistakes and sins that I had yet to commit. Even then you could count the number of people whose rise I would contribute to, as well as the number of people whose fall I would wittingly or unwittingly cause.
Today I look back at the acts of kindness that I have extended to friends, strangers, and even to enemies. I try to recall my many weaknesses as well as my own wickedness. I am ashamed to say that I am not sure whether my good deeds outnumber my sins. I’m afraid I can’t exactly boast that I have been more generous than selfish, or more humble than proud. The truth is, I even suspect that I have lived a life more self-centered, and I have been a person more conceited and proud.
But the wonder of it is that by your grace, I live! Even before my life unfolded, you already knew that it was quite possible that I might cause more harm than good, that I might turn out less a saint and more a sinner. And still you have let me live–and more! You have nursed me and nurtured me all these years, patiently and gently prodding me each and every time I stray. You saw my future; it wasn’t bright. You see my present; it remains flawed. And yet you have not lost hope. Like Simeon, you continue to wait and hope for the day when your own eyes will see the salvation you are–every moment of my life–preparing for me and yes, eventhrough me in the sight of your people.
Thank you for not giving up on me.