By Melodious Monk
This past Sunday, the Church celebrated the feast of the Presentation. In the Alleluia proper for the day, I think the text from the Alleluia verse has something to teach me. A translation of the Latin reads, “The old man carried the child; the child, however, was the ruler of the old man.”
This chant’s music spends about 1/3 of the piece on the single word “autem,” Latin for “but” or “however.” In this pivotal adverb lies a lot of mystery, and perhaps a good metaphor for our daily walks in life. Simeon carried the Christ child, but he knew that contained in this small baby was the reason he could finally rest in peace – he was grateful for the child to be his ruler.
Whether we remember it or not, we all carry a piece of this child with us where ever we go. So the “carrying” part is not the problem! We do this well, automatically in fact. The question lies in the word “autem.” He is with us, however, will we let him rule? Will we let him lift us up and carry our burdens?