Presentation of the Lord: Sharpening Our Focus3
February 2, 2017 by eneubauer
Today we celebrate the Presentation of our Lord – when the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph brought Jesus into the temple at Jerusalem in fulfillment of the law found in Exodus 13:
Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among the Israelites, both of man and beast, for it belongs to me. — God
In this act of obedience we see an additional affirmation of Jesus’ divinity and confirmation of his role in the salvation of all humanity through the reaction of Simeon in Luke 2:25-32:
25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 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. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 “Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
St. Sophronius reminds us on this day “in honor of the divine mystery” that we are to run quickly to meet Christ. This “meeting” dispels the darkness within, darkness which created a chasm between man and God, bringing us back into right relationship with our Creator. As a result of this experience we are now called to take the light and love of Jesus into the whole world for all to see.
Let’s not complicate this beautiful message. Together, let’s be eager to lean in and learn from Jesus like St. John. Embrace the Gospel message (read, re-read, meditate & read again) and then using your unique gifts, talents and abilities reflect the light of Christ in our world.
People are hungry and waiting for the loving light of Christ. In itself this love has the power to transform. You are the conduit and God is the one who saves. Be the Light of Christ today in a world filled with shadows, the sorrow brought on by unbelief and unbelievable suffering.
I often meditate on the this , the Presentation of our Lord, when saying the Rosary . I always start with the thought that Joseph and Mary followed the Law. It really was as simple as that. I then move on to the thoughts of why and of what that simple act can mean for us. The act was part of the fulfillment of all that was foretold and promised to the people of Israel. It was not a repudiation of what came before, but a fulfillment and a continuation of the covenant with God. We should learn that we need only, simply, follow the law. Study it, ask for understanding, but follow it and God will keep his covenant with us.
I taught my students today that the Presentation is a saying farewell to Christmas one last time and a turning towards Lent, with the example of Anna’s fasting and the reference to the pierced heart. Simeon says to Mary that her son will open hearts, just as in Lent we will be asked to rend our hearts and not our garments. I asked my students to ask themselves, “If your heart were opened, would we see the Light of Christ or the Darkness of sin?” We prayed to become pure of heart, like Mary.
Seth, what a lesson. Wow, I really appreciate your thoughts. We are reminded by St. Sophronius that we reject the darkness and then, being transformed by the light, take our lights into the world and let them shine. Our lives are to be a reflection of Christ’s light and love to the world. A radical idea.