Promise and Fulfillment—Witness
When God makes a promise, he always fulfills it, but on his own time. Man cannot manipulate God to fulfill his own selfish desires. God promised to Simeon that he will not die, before he sees his salvation, his Incarnate Son. We see the fulfillment of God’s promise on the day of the presentation of infant Jesus into the temple.
Simeon exclaimed his grateful words to God when he held Jesus in his arms, saying, “ Lord, let your servant depart in peace according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation…”. God’s promise to Simeon was fulfilled. The Holy Spirit informed him that the baby is His Incarnate, beloved Son, Who came to the world to “enlighten the Gentiles and glorify his people, Israel” who were waiting for the Messiah.
Jesus came to free us from sin, our real enemy, and enlighten our spirit which was darkened by sin.
John the Baptist called upon the people to “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
The “kingdom,” the rule of God, his divine glory and power, has been
manifested in His Son Jesus. Jesus asked also the people to “repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.” “Repent” Means to change our mind, to rethink our way of life, and return to God. “Kingdom” is “God’s rule.” God’s divine grace is now present among us.
We received God’s grace, the first fruits of the Holy Spirit, in our Chrismation. We are now called to actualize our gift, to live it in our personal life and increase it through our participation in the holy sacraments. It is the grace of God we receive in the holy sacraments of the church. This is the reason that we sing, after we have received the Holy Eucharist, “we have seen the true light, we have received the Holy Spirit, we have found the true faith, as we worship the undivided Holy Trinity Who has saved us.“ We acknowledge God’s fulfillment of his promise to us.
However, it is not enough to know it. It is important that we practice it in our daily life, in our relation to our fellow man. Let us live our Orthodox faith and become a shining light to the people around us. Thus, seeing our good deeds and Christian example, the people will glorify our triune God, who has saved us.
Fr. John P. Angelis
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