Let us reflect upon the way everything was prearranged for Simeon to embrace the Son of God. In the first place, he had been given a revelation by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Anointed. Then, he did not enter the temple by chance or routine, but he came there under the prompting of the Spirit of God, for all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. If you too wish to embrace Jesus and enfold him in your arms, strive with all your might to follow the guidance of the Spirit and come to God’s temple. Now, at this moment, you are standing in the temple of the Lord Jesus, which is his Church, the temple built of living stones. When your life and conduct are really worthy of the name of Church, you are standing in the Lord’s temple.
If, led by the Spirit, you come to the temple, you will find the child Jesus, you will lift him up in your arms and say: “Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace as you promised.” Notice at once that peace is joined to death and dismissal, for Simeon does not say only that he wishes to go, but adds that he wished to go in peace. This is the same promise as was made to blessed Abraham: “You shall go to your ancestors in peace when you have reached a ripe old age.” Who dies in peace? Only the person who has the peace of God which passes all understanding, and which guards the heart of its possessor. Who departs from this world in peace? Only the person who understands that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and who, being in no way at enmity with God or opposed to him, has acquired and concord through good works, and so is allowed like Abraham to go in peace and join the holy patriarchs.
But why speak of the patriarchs? Shall I not rather go on to speak about Jesus, the prince and lord of patriarchs, about whom Saint Paul says: “It is better to die and be with Christ?” That person possesses Jesus who dares to say: “It is no longer I who live—it is Christ who lives in me.”
And so, as we stand in the temple and hold the Son of God and embrace him, let us pray to almighty God and to the child Jesus that we may be found worthy of discharge and departure to better things, for we long to speak with Jesus and embrace him. To him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.
Origen of Alexandria