Fearing that if I started to preach on Simeon and the Nunc dimittis, I would involve myself--and torment the daily Mass crowd--with an overblown account of the whole Lukan project and end up at least at Pentecost, if not Paul's trials, I decided to preach on the first reading today. I concentrated on the very end: "Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes." (1 John 2:11)
To love is to think straight. If we do not love, that is, if we fail to bother to act out of a desire for the good, happiness, and flourishment of the brother and sister creatures around us, we are confused and our thinking is distorted.
This is why we sin even though we think we don't really want to, as in St. Paul's famous complaint, "For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want." (Romans 7:19) Even though we know--or part of us knows--that it is not what our heart really wants, we continue to sin. Because we are not completely loving we are not thinking straight and can't make clear decisions about our behavior. We are the homo incurvatus, the 'bent over' human being who doesn't see the whole picture of light and goodness.
Let us repent of anything that is not love in our hearts and behavior, stand up straight, and see the perfect Love made flesh in Jesus Christ. Let us take care to fix our eyes on this Love, that we may always imitate the mystery we have received, and not fall back into confusion.