27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, 28 He also took him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: 29 Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; 30 Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: 32 A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Bede: Now the righteous man, according to the law, received the Child Jesus in his arms, that he might signify that the legal righteousness of works under the figure of the hands and arms was to be changed for the lowly indeed but saving grace of Gospel faith The old man received the infant Christ, to convey thereby that this world, now worn out as it were with old age, should return to the childlike innocence of the Christian life.
Origen: If you will touch Jesus and grasp Him in your hands, strive with all your strength to have the Spirit for your guide, and come to the temple of God. For it follows, And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms.
Theophylact: When he says Lord, he confesses that He is the very Lord of both life and death, and so acknowledges the Child whom he held in his arms to be God.
Cyril: Christ was the mystery which has been revealed in the last times of the world, having been prepared before the foundation of the world. Hence it follows, which you have prepared before the face of all men.
Athanasius: The Gentiles before the coming of Christ were lying in the deepest darkness, being without the knowledge of God.
Cyril: Christ coming was made a light to them that sat in darkness, being sore oppressed by the power of the devil but they were called by God the Father to the knowledge of His Son, Who is the true light.
Gregory of Nyssa: Israel was enlightened though dimly by the law, so he says not that light came to them, but his words are, to be the glory of your people Israel. . . . For although some of them were disobedient, yet a remnant were saved and came through Christ to glory, of which the Apostles were first-fruits, whose brightness illumines the whole world.
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. III (London: Rivington, 1843).