Here is part of the Gospel account, from St Luke: ‘Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.”’

The mutual gaze between the Holy Child and the aged Simeon has a quite remarkable intensity, as if each recognises the other at a depth which is far from ordinary. Simeon holds the Child with his hands covered, as if to indicate the holiness of the moment.

May we, too, draw near in humble adoration, our small lights held in our hands, as we recognise that ‘greater Light’ which has come into the world, and may we welcome Him into the temple of our hearts this day. May God bless you.