Sermon by St Augustine, Bishop,
Sermon 128 on the Birth of Our Lord.
As it was foretold in former times, Sion our Mother saith: He was born in her, the Most High shall stablish her. O omnipotence of him that was born. O magnificence of him that descended from heaven to earth! While he was yet hidden in the womb, he was saluted by John Baptist from his mother’s womb. He was presented in the temple, and was recognized by Simeon, that old man honoured, hoary, esteemed and crowned.
℟ Simeon, a just and devout man, awaited the consolation of Israel: And the Holy Ghost was upon him.
℣ It was revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And the…Lesson V, Nocturn II, Matins of the Purification of St Mary the Virgin, Monastic Breviary.
Then he knew, then he adored, then he said: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. His departure from this world was put off until he had seen the birth of him who made the world. The old man recognized the infant, he was made a child in that Child: he became young in his old age, yet ripe in devotion. The aged Simeon carried the Infant Christ; yet Christ ruled the aged Simeon.
℟ It was revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he blessed God, and said: Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, O Lord.
℣ When the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he up in his arms. And he blessed…Lesson VI, ibid.
It was told him by the Lord, that he should not taste of death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Christ was born, and the desire of the old man was accomplished in the old age of the world. He himself came to an old man, and found an aged world. The old man desired not to be long in this world, and yet he desired to see Christ in this world, saying with the prophet: O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us, and grant us thy salvation.
℟ When his parents brought the child Jesus into the temple to do for him after the custom of the law, Simeon took him up in his arms and blessed God, and said: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.
℣ Simeon took the child up in his arms and cried out, saying: Lord, now lettest…Lesson VII, ibid.
And lastly, that ye may know how great this joy was, he finally said: Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation. The prophets foretold that the Maker of heaven and earth should be with men upon earth; the Angel announced that the Creator of flesh and spirit should come in the flesh; John, from the womb, saluted the Saviour in the womb; the old man Simeon knew the Infant God.
℟ Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.
℣ A light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel. For mine eyes…
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.Lesson VIII, ibid.