Simeon and Anna

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

Simeon and Anna, two more characters who appear exclusively in the Gospel of St. Luke, are further examples of the "remnant of Israel." They join the cast of characters that includes Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph in singing the praises of God for fidelity to the promises made to the Chosen People. They have long been two of my favorite characters. For me they exemplify the virtue of patience as they wait for deliverance from the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Simeon is described as one who is awaiting the consolation of Israel. Anna is a widow who was left childless, a plight that is particularly difficult under the Law. Yet both of them raise their voices in praise of God upon seeing a newborn baby whom they believe is the Promised One. Neither of them will realize the fulfillment of their expectations as they are both quite elderly already. Neither of them will hear the words that come from the mouth of Jesus now will they witness the many signs and wonders that he will work in the midst of the people of Israel. Yet they both place their faith in this child.

Newborn babies have always been a sign of hope. New life brings with it the possibility of great opportunities. However, Simeon and Anna go beyond the purely human reaction to a newborn. Their faith tells them that this child will be the fulfillment of the prophecies of their ancestors. In the face of the difficulties they face on a daily basis, this is tremendous faith indeed. I have long felt that these two characters are wonderful patrons of all CUSANS who dare to hope that their plight will be alleviated in God's promise of eternal life free of pain and suffering, free of tears and fears.

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