Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. We recall two enigmatic individuals that appear and just as quickly disappear in the Gospel of Saint Luke, Simeon and Anna.

Simeon was a devout and holy Jewish man, presumably a teacher and rabbi at the Temple of Jerusalem. He stands for us as a magnificent transitional character from the old law of Moses to the new law of the Kingdom of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. At the Presentation of the Lord, Mary and Joseph present Jesus for the ritual circumcision that heralds His initiation into the faith of Judaism. At the same time, we are clearly reminded of the ritual laws of impurity under which Mary has been constricted since the birth of Jesus. Simeon in accepting Jesus and Mary clearly indicates the delivery of all peoples, especially the Gentiles from the ritual laws of Moses and shows Jesus as the embodiment of the New Moses and the fulfillment of Simeon’s messianic vision.

Anna, described as a prophetess, long awaited the fulfillment of the Kingdom of Israel and is sanctified by her participation in the event that presents the New Moses to the world. She is a pinnacle example of a faithful believer that fulfilled all of the complexities of the Old Law in order to witness the new Messianic age.

Simeon and Anna both by their actions and their words indicate that in Christ there is a new interpretation of the Law that requires acceptance and belief in Jesus, the Messianic fulfillment of the Old Testament. After such a realization both Simeon and Anna realize the fulfillment of their long anticipation and disappear from any further mention in scripture.

Tonight, the Nunc Dimittis, is a fitting reminder of the new age of salvation history realized by the birth and presentation of Christ to not only the Jewish people, but also the Gentiles is the realization of a new Messianic age in the Kingdom of God.

Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace.
 You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
 which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness;
 the glory of your people Israel 

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