Advent December 12th: Saint Ffinian
The Missional life is a studied life
“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.””
Simeon lived a simple life pursuing God with all his heart, and studying the law and the prophets. Among the people who lived in the time of Christ’s birth, we only read of a few people who saw His arrival coming. Simeon, this student of God, was among those few. The life of the missional person is a life as a perpetual student. We are always learning. We are learning about our God, learning about His Word, and learning about the people and the cultures around us, because our God cares for them all.
December 12 is Saint Ffinian’s (Finnian of Clonard) Day. Ffinian was an Irish monk responsible for the development of monastic schools across Ireland in the 5th and 6th centuries. According to a book of Irish Saints, Ffinian spent 30 years studying under Cadog the wise in Glamorganshire, before returning home to establish his monastic community in Clonard. It was said that there were over 3,000 students at Clonard with Ffinian toward the end of his life.
Prayer: Lord, grant me the passion to be ever learning, never remaining satisfied with less than intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth. Like Simeon, who sought your face, and your knowledge, cause me to be your student all the days of my life. Like Finnian of Clonard, whose long years with Cadog of Wales led him to become the founder of the great Irish schools, cause me to diligently study while I await your call for my life.