Aging is like the sunset of each day. Simeon and Anna are aged people at the presentation of the Lord. Simeon sings the Night Prayer of his life. He has met Jesus, glory of Israel and light of the nations. He is readied for death. Anna is eighty-four; she has seen four seasons of twenty-one years each (as Daniel Levinson might say), the twenty-one years each with three passages of seven years each (as Gail Sheehy might say). She speaks about the deliverance of the city.
Aging is moving toward the sunset of the time of our life and toward the sunrise of everlasting destiny. We remember and forget, we imagine and anticipate, limited by our bodily aches and pains. We are being transformed. We revise our view of people and events and history, of family and friends, of ourselves. This revision is a purgatory, a joyful and sorrowful bettering. We ripen like apples, like wheat and grapes. We are more thankful for our many blessings, more sorrowful for our many sins, more hopeful for our ongoing conversion.
Aging is becoming more aware of the future kingdom of truthfully, faithfully merciful friends forever. We look forward to meeting Jesus and His and our friends, especially His and our beloved Mary and Joseph. He will say, "I am Jesus." Mary will say, "I am Mary." Joseph will say, "I am Joseph." Each and all will approach one another with identity and mission now complete. We will have been pruned totally, if necessary through purgatory. We will be glowing, flaming, blazing, each original, for and with all and each.
Aging is playing, traveling, battling to the end. Jesus will make us winners, having come home, victorious forever.
Photo: "Burning Yellow Sunset" by Jessie Eastland,via Wikimedia Commons.