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“HAVE MY EYES SEEN YOUR SALVATION?” (Lk 2:22-32): 02 February 2008 (Presentation of the Lord)

“HAVE MY EYES SEEN YOUR SALVATION?” (Lk 2:22-32):  02 February 2008 (Presentation of the Lord)

Today’s Readings

I first heard Jason Mraz’s “You and I Both” about three years ago.  Nothing beats a catchy tune–which this is–but it’s also a little too wordy.  The best part, however, is that  somehow it works!

It’s a love song, but it may well have been Simeon’s song when he gets to cradle the Christ Child in his arms after waiting for years for some kind of sign of the salvation of Israel.  

When he finally sees the fulfillment of what the prophets have only written of, he breaks into his canticle:

“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 the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

The refrain of “You and I Both” goes:

“Cause you and I both love
What you and I spoke of,
And others just read of.
Others only read of the love,
the love that I love.”

If you ask me, it could have been the old man’s song.  Once in a while in our lives, we’re amazed that we find ourselves actually face-to-face with a dream-come-true.  In such moments we could sing Mraz’s refrain, or we could sing Simeon’s Canticle.  Either way our hearts are filled with gratitude, and we can’t believe our eyes.  Either way we’re telling God, “My eyes have seen your salvation.”  These are rare, graced moments that we should savor and never forget.

Sometimes I suspect that the spiritual life is really 50% searching and 50% remembering.  It’s 50% searching because a lot of our prayer is really spent looking for God in the world, in the events in our lives, in the people around us, and in our hearts.  It’s not easy because as the mystics tell us, God is “a God who hides,” and for most of us, it’s especially hard to find him when things go wrong.

But the spiritual life is also 50% remembering.  It’s also about remembering every good gift God has given us and every promise he has kept. These are the times when we actually have seen or touched and lived what “others just read of.”  Prayer is also recalling all our “good times” with God, gathering our memories of the times when we have sensed God’s presence and nearness in our lives, in big ways and small, times when he has saved us from danger (or sometimes from ourselves!). These are the times when we have seen God’s work of salvation in us.

So today, on the Feast of the Presentation, that’s the question I think I’m going to ask myself: “Have my eyes seen your salvation?”  Today I’ll be counting my blessings, and they’re so countless that I know and hope I’ll keep doing so until, as Mraz sings–quite breathlessly–towards the end of his song, “I’m almost finally, finally, finally out of words.”

Note:  Here are the lyrics to the song “You and I Both.”  Watch his performance if you’re interested.

YOU AND I BOTH

Was it you who spoke the words that things would happen but not to me?
Oh things are gonna happen naturally
Oh taking your advice I’m looking on the bright side
And balancing the whole thing
But oftentimes those words get tangled up in lines
And the bright lights turn to night
Until the dawn it brings
Another day to sing about the magic that was you and me

Cause you and I both love what you and I spoke of
And others just read of
Others only read of the love, the love that I love.

See I’m all about them words
Over numbers, unencumbered numbered words
Hundreds of pages, pages, pages forwards
More words then I had ever heard and I feel so alive

You and I, you and I
Not so little you and I anymore
And with this silence brings a moral story
More importantly evolving is the glory of a boy

Cause you and I both love what you and I spoke of
And others just dream of
And if you could see me now
Well I’m almost finally out of
I’m finally out of
Finally
Well I’m almost finally, finally
Well I’m free, oh, I’m free

And it’s okay if you have to go away
Oh just remember the telephone works both ways
And if I never ever hear them ring
If nothing else I’ll think the bells inside
Have finally found you someone else and that’s okay
Cause I’ll remember everything you sang

Cause you and I both love what you and I spoke of
and others just read of and if you could see now
well I’m almost finally out of.
I’m finally out of, finally,
well I’m almost finally, finally, finally out of words.

Here is a Quick Question for you: “In what ways have you seen God’s salvation in your life recently?”  Think about it, and if you feel up to it, share a thought, a feeling, or a question.

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