Circumcision in the Jewish tradition dates back to the covenant that God made with Abraham, giving him numerous descendants, land, and His redemption. This shows the great humility of our Lord Jesus Christ, being the Redeemer and the fulfillment of the law, He took on all of our humanity, except sin. He knows our weaknesses and struggles, no matter what they could be.
According to the Orthodox tradition, Simeon was one of the seventy scholars that were ordered to translate the Holy Scripture into Greek. Saint Simeon was translating a book of the Prophet Isaiah, and read the words: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a Son” (Is 7:14). He thought that “virgin” was inaccurate, and he wanted to correct the text to read “woman.” At that moment an angel appeared to him and held back his hand saying, “You shall see these words fulfilled. You shall not die until you behold Christ the Lord born of a pure and spotless Virgin.” From this day, Saint Simeon lived in expectation of the Promised Messiah.
Simeon and Anna being full of the Holy Spirit knew our Lord Jesus Christ as a baby being held by St. Mary. No one told them who this Child was, and I am sure there were hundreds of children entering the temple that day. Anna’s dedication to God filled her with the Holy Spirit “who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day” (Luke 2:37). Being full of the Holy Spirit and fully dedicating our entire lives to Him, allows us to recognize Him in every moment of our lives. It allows our eyes to “see Your salvation…light…and glory” (Luke 2:30-32).
This doesn’t happen overnight, it takes true continuous dedication to Him and His words. Luke 2 mentions that both Simeon and Anna were both of great age. I believe that they weren’t only in a great age years wise, but also in their dedication and relationship with God. It is a journey that we participate in. The salvation, light, and glory are all Christ. Through baptism, the Eucharist, and a life of true repentance we participate in the Life of Christ, and thus we participate in the Kingdom. As long as we are struggling to be Christlike, we are assuredly tasting of the Fountain of the Kingdom. It’s time for us to behold His salvation, light, and glory. Metropolitan Joseph of North America says “we have been given so very much. It is now up to us whether we will grow more like Christ, or lose the Kingdom by conforming ourselves to worldly expectations. To grow in Christ, to grow in the Kingdom, means to be more loving, more forgiving, more generous, more supportive of others, more positive, more encouraging, and more prayerful. If we desire the Kingdom, then we desire the will of the King. There is a whole nation outside waiting to see the Kingdom. Let us all show them what it is like to grow in Christ.”