sexta-feira, 19 de maio de 2017


Simeon took him in his arms and praised God
Luke 2:28 (2:22-40) - NIV

Faith includes the art of seeing what is hidden. Antônio Francisco Lisboa, “Aleijadinho” (1738-1814), contemplated a rock and saw a prophet in it. With hammer and chisel, he freed the prophet for the world to see. George Washington Carver (1860-1943), born a slave, looked at a peanut and prayed: "God, help me to see what's inside it!" In his laboratory, he extracted 325 different products: food, cosmetics, paint, fabric, plastics, etc. Simon saw a couple of peasants bring her newborn baby to the temple to be dedicated. By faith, he saw a great light coming to illuminate the path of people in the world through him.

Faith is the art of seeing the greatness in small things: a rock, a peanut, a baby from a poor family. Without them there would be no greatness. True greatness is in the little things. The tragedy of modern man is to confuse the ostentatious with greatness. Ostentation is illusion. Greatness which is built at the expense of others and of creation is false. It is living a lie.

Jesus blessed the meek, the peacemakers and the poor of his time. He saw the Kingdom of God in them. In the divine economy, the simple is the basis of the complex. Neutrons and protons form atoms, atoms form molecules, molecules form compounds, compounds form cells, cells form living organisms and living organisms form the ecosystem of which we are a part. Jesus, whom Christians recognize as Savior and Son of God, came through this divine process. He was conceived, born and grew in stature and wisdom. He did not skip any steps. He did not arrive already made. His greatness came naturally as a result of humility and compassion.

We admire the giant trees that are truly living skyscrapers. We know that they started out as small seeds. Often we do not realize that their existence and proliferation would be impossible without millions of other smaller organisms invisible to the naked eye. The destruction of this ecosystem would be the end of the giant trees also. The little things are very important at all levels of existence and the larger more complex things depend on them for their existence.

Faith sees the potential of what is apparently worthless and weak with no apparent magnitude. Simon could have focused on the grandeur of the temple and the beautiful liturgy of religious acts. He could have been impressed by the rich and powerful bringing their valuable offerings. But he saw just a poor baby and when he saw it he saw how important it was. He saw its true greatness. The temple no longer exists but that small baby continues to inspire the lives of billions of people.

The important thing is not to be big or be small. We all have the potential to become a blessing and to grow in wisdom. Walking the path of compassion is within the reach of everyone. Only that leads to true greatness.


When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

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