Feast of Presentation of the Lord
Fr. Mark Gatto
Preached: February 2, 2020
What are your hopes? What is it that you hope for? What kind of world do you hope for? What kind of family do you hope for? What kind of parish do you hope for? Hope is something important because it gives direction to our lives.
Simeon, was in the Temple when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus in Jerusalem.
He is described as a man who was looking forward to the consolation of Israel. He was hoping to
see the Christ of the Lord, the Messiah, before his death. Simeon’s hope was in the plan of God,
the salvation that God would bring.
In Jesus, he recognized the plan of God being fulfilled. It is for this reason that Simeon could make that famous prayer, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace.” Simeon was at peace as he approached the end of his life. For his hope was in the plan of God for salvation. Each of us can hope that as we approach the end of our life that we have lived in such a way that we are able to go in peace.
What is it that we as Christians should have as our hope? First, we hope in Eternal life. The
salvation of our souls. Jesus is the path that leads us to salvation, to eternal life, the eternal
banquet of love and joy in God. What would you trade in place of Eternal life? Is there anything
temporary in this life that we would say, I will take this instead of Eternal life?
But, our hope is not just in some future life as though this life does not matter. For God’s
Kingdom is connected to this life now. What do we hope for in this life? We pray in the Lord’s
Prayer, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done.” Our hope then in this life is that God’s will be
done. The will of God is for peace, that no one be abandoned, that there be a common good, a
common home, one human family. This will of God should also be our hope.
This hope is important because it gives direction to our lives, to how we live our lives. If my
hope is just for money or power, then we will cheat, exploit, lie to get what we hope for. But, if
my hope is in Eternal Life, then I will sacrifice for what is right, I will struggle for justice, I will
work for the common good, not just my own private good.
If my hope is for the world that God wills, then we will live to create such a world.
If you hope for a world that is kind, then be kind.
If you hope for a world that is gentle, then be gentle.
If you hope for a world that is peaceful, then be peaceful.
If you hope for a world that is honest, then be honest.
Like Simeon, when we come to the end of our life, we want to be at peace. The key is to hope for God’s will to be done, for God’s Kingdom to come.
Hope for Eternal life, the salvation of your soul, then you will be focused on what really matters.
Hope for a world that is a common home, one human family. This hope will give direction to
how we live. Then like Simeon, at the end of our life, we will be able to say, “now I can go in peace.”