HOSPITALITY – LK 2:22-40
Simeon, righteous and devout,
what are you awaiting as you pray,
as you carry in your heart the darkness,
the longing, the hope, of your people?
Your heart, Simeon, has become a tabernacle,
a home for the Spirit, yearning now
for the full coming of the Light,
and yearning, in the same moment,
for the people to enter into this Light.
Ah, you carry them in their longing,
a yet you carry your own intimate thirst too—
yes, you carry an anticipation of the Light already,
since those who truly yearn for light
already begin to taste it in their hearts.
And so the light in you beckons,
drawing you to the fullness of the Light,
and you enter the temple in the Spirit
and take this great Light into your arms.
Ah, for you it is no contradiction
that the Light that illumines the whole world
is tiny, an infant, passed from arm to arm,
and a man surrounded by darkness,
hanging upon a rough wooden Cross!
For you have eyes of faith that see,
that are not scandalized by the divine littleness,
nor by the suffering in compassion
through which God will shows us
just how much he loves us.
You understand the mystery of love,
a mystery of vulnerability:
that God opens his Heart to us
so that we, in return, will open ours to him.
This little child will become the Wounded One,
who through his wounds heals all our pain,
For his woundedness is a meeting-place,
a meeting with us in our lonely suffering
becoming a meeting with us in intimate joy,
for where two are together, even in pain,
the seed of joy and intimacy is already there.
In your words of prophecy, Simeon,
that this child will be a light for revelation
to all people of the salvation of our God,
and will do so precisely through the Cross,
through its vulnerability in acceptance and in gift—
in these words you reveal the fullness
of what is occurring under symbols
here in the temple…as God enters
into all that belongs to us,
and we, in turn, enter into God.
For God comes to us as a Little One
so that he can enter into the temple,
into the tabernacle of our little hearts.
We can take him in our arms
and press him to our bosom,
rejoicing in his closeness.
And yet this very One whom we welcome
into our inmost self, also welcomes us,
taking us into his own Sacred Heart.
The whole Incarnation is a mystery of hospitality.
And someone gives hospitality in a home.
Jesus comes to me, homeless,
seeking a home within my heart.
And yet he does this precisely
by opening his Heart, first, to welcome me in.
Thus, as I immerse myself into his Heart,
finding in him my security, my rest, my strength,
he too comes to live within my heart,
alive and active in the beauty of his love.
In this way my heart becomes a home,
not only for Jesus, but, with Jesus alive in me,
a home for our broken and thirsty world,
a place where people can come,
weak and vulnerable,
to know that they are loved,
and thus to rest their weary head.