Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
The Torah required that every firstborn son be consecrated to the Lord. The ritual asked poorer couples to sacrifice a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons when the boy was presented in the Temple. This seemed like a happy event for Mary and Joseph, though little enough had been “normal” in their lives ever since Gabriel had appeared to Mary. They looked forward to their visit to the Temple.
Then they met Simeon. He prophesied to Mary that Jesus was destined to do great deeds. Then he added that her son would be “a sign that will be contradicted” and that “a sword would pierce her heart so that the thoughts of many would be revealed.” What a way to ruin a perfect day! How did Mary and Joseph react to Simeon’s words? We know, of course, that they continued to trust in God, believing that the One who had graced them thus far would continue to do so in the months and years ahead. This is the example they give us.
At times in our lives, we also experience situations and circumstances that stretch us far more than we would like. These are often painful, and the challenges that follow often create a great deal of anxiety. At these times, Mary and Joseph are examples of trust in God. In the Mass, Jesus also gives us the example of his life in the gospel readings. He strengthens us in communion so we can bear our various crosses without losing our confidence in God’s love and concern for us.
How can I deepen my trust in God?
Let Us Pray:
O loving Lord, may the example of your holy family inspire me never to lose my confidence in your love.