Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
ONE VERY HOLY DAY, about 2,000 years ago, an Infant was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem. He was held in the arms of His Mother, Mary (her Jewish name was Miriam), who, together with her husband, Joseph (Yosef), had come, according to the Law of Moses, to offer Him to God. In the Temple that day was a righteous, devout Jew named Simeon. It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah, the very consolation–the hope–of Israel. Seeing Mary and Joseph with the Child–the very One for whom Simeon waited–Simeon took the Infant in his arms and praised God in these immortal words recorded for all time in the Gospel of St. Luke (2:29-32):
Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace, according to Thy word: For mine own eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou hast prepared in the sight of all the peoples, A light to reveal Thee to the nations and the glory of Thy people Israel.
Simeon’s prayer has been recited and sung through the ages by millions of the faithful together with religious, priests, bishops and popes. It has become the night prayer of the Church known as the Canticle of Simeon or by its Latin title, Nunc Dimittus, taken from the rst two words, “Now dismiss…”
The holy Infant brought to the Temple in Jerusalem that day was, and is, GOD.
I will never forget a shopping trip to a supermarket in New York just a few weeks after I came to believe…