In our ever-ancient Catholic Catechism, we heard these two words – Beatific Vision, which is seeing God face-to-face. It is our ultimate destiny to meet with our Lord and see God face-to-face in heaven. This reality is being shown in the gospel of Luke, as we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
Simeon has seen the salvation of our God, and from the gospel text, “which you (Jesus) prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
What a powerful statement from Simeon, witnessing the power of the Light! Deep in the sacramental theology of Baptism are the following spiritual facts: 1) We are embraced and claimed into the loving dynamics of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit – the Trinity. In baptism, we are in the magnificent whirlwind of love between the persons of the Holy Trinity. 2) Baptism set us to an upward direction towards heaven. The sacrament sets our journey towards heaven, the ultimate destiny and encounter of our spiritual journey.
Plato once imagined the spiritual journey as a chariot moving through the wilderness of life, with the soul as the charioteer trying to rein in two powerful horses: the horse of anger or passion, and the horse of reason or order. Plato understood that both passion and reason can be life-giving, but only when they are held in dynamic tension, only when each power neutralizes the potential destruction of the other. This morning Jesus tells us that we must balance the passion of anger with the discipline and reason of love. And he tells us that the law of love can best be fulfilled, not through rules, but through relationships. (Susan R. Andrews, The Offense Of Grace, CSS Publishing Company, Inc.)