02 February 2008

In honor of the day

As Mary and Joseph entered the Temple to present Jesus to the Lord, we are told that when Simeon saw Jesus "he took him into his arms" (Luke 2:28). This is such a simple gesture, and yet so profound.

Simeon does wait to be invited to hold the Child. He takes the initiative upon himself. His eyes have befallen his salvation and nothing shall keep him from embracing the Messiah. How willingly do we take him into our arms?

There are very few pictures of Saint Anthony of Padua that do not depict him with the Child in his arms. The Evangelic Doctor, too, took Jesus into his arms to love him.

In taking on our flesh and coming to us as a little Child, the only Son of God makes himself vulnerable to our love. Even as he invites our love he opens himself to our rejection.

Simeon did not reject him. Anna did not reject him. Anthony did not reject him. Won't you take the Child in your arms this day?

Sweet Infant Jesus,
you are the best and only hope of afflicted souls.
I beseech you,
through your immeasurable love and grace,
whereby your visited your blessed servant Saint Anthony
to comfort and embrace him,
to come to me at his intercession.
Let me taste how sweet your presence is
to the souls that trust in you.

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