February 2, 2020

The Presentation of the Lord

Mary and Joseph observed the Law of Moses that required that after forty days a woman would return to the temple to be cleansed from the impurities of childbirth. The sacrifice of two small birds indicates the poverty of the family in exchange for their firstborn son.

Saint Peter Julian reflects on Mary’s childhood spent in the temple where. “God had prepared her in secret, in silence, without her even suspecting the great mission that she was to fulfill.” [Library Volume 7, page 34]. If this is true, the temple was a place familiar to her from childhood. Simeon and Anna were two elders and old friends who inspired her with knowing the scriptures. They now welcome her to the temple as a woman and mother.

Preaching this text might convey the joy of the community that welcomes a young couple returning to church with their child for baptism. The child is to be bathed, anointed, clothed and consecrated to the Lord. Today is also Candlemas day. “Receive the light of Christ. This light is entrusted to you to…” The Presentation is a festival of consecration that only falls on a Sunday every five or six years. So, make it bright with baptisms and blessing of candles and joyous hospitality.

The liturgy also observes the World Day for Consecrated Life and is a time for everyone to be consecrated along with the bread and wine to the body of Christ. On this feast, Saint Peter Julian noted that when bringing their child to the temple, Mary and Joseph offered themselves with Jesus to God the Father. Similarly, he would do the same and renewed his vows of consecration in union with Jesus and made the gift of his whole self into God’s hands. [Retreat of Rome, page 86.]

Give thanks today for your baptism as a consecration into the body of Christ. In what ways do you share the joy of your baptism? Ask God what you can do this week to be a light for the revelation of Christ in you or another.

Let us pray.

Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your world, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About William Fickel, SSS