Concerning Simeon, that he came to the temple in the Spirit, up to the
point where it says, "Now you dismiss your servant, Lord, in peace."
WE MUST SEEK an explanation worthy of God's purpose as to why, as is written in the Gospel, " Simeon, a holy man and one pleasing to God, awaiting the consolation of Israel, received an answer from the Holy Spirit that he would not perish in death before he saw the Lord's Anointed."1. What did he gain from seeing Christ? Did he have only this promised to him, that he would see him, and derive no profit from seeing him? Or is some gift worthy of God concealed here, a gift that the blessed Simeon both merited and received? "The woman touched the fringe of Jesus' garment and was healed." 2. If she derived such an advantage from the very edge of his garment, what should we think of Simeon, who "received" the infant "into his arms"?3. He held him in his arms, and kept rejoicing and exulting. He saw that the little child he was carrying had come to release captives and to free Simeon himself from the bonds of the body. Simeon knew that no one could release a man from the prison of the body with hope of life to come, except the one whom he enfolded in his arms.
2. Hence, he also says to him, "Now you dismiss your servant, Lord, in peace."4. For, as long as I did not hold Christ, as long as my arms did not enfold him, I was imprisoned, and unable to escape from my bonds." But this is true not only of Simeon, but of the whole human race. Anyone who departs from this____________________