Malachi 3: 1-4
Hebrews 2: 14-18
Luke 2: 22-40
On this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the Church celebrates the day Jesus is taken to the Temple by Joseph and Mary to be consecrated to the Lord, for the Mosaic Law prescribed “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord. And to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons…” Now, do not skip over the very first verse of our gospel: “When the days were complete for their purification…” Note the use of the word “their”.
According to Mosaic Law, when a woman gave birth, she was to seek purification 40 days later. There is no known reference to purification being required of the husband. And yet, the Holy Spirit, via the gospel writer Luke, makes that declaration. There is great significance in the purification of Mary and Joseph because there in their arms was the Lamb of God who would purify all of us by His Paschal Mystery.
Because Jesus was Mary’s first born son, He was to be consecrated to the Lord. Referencing Mosaic Law again, the first born was to be consecrated by the slaying of a lamb, Mary and Joseph though, offered a pair of birds. The lamb to be sacrificed would be sacrificed 33 years later, Jesus on the cross. On that beautiful day of the presentation of Jesus, Mary held Him in her arms and handed Him over to the temple priest to hold. Years later, Mary would take her Son back after He dies on the cross.
This had to have been an incredibly happy and proud day for Mary and Joseph…until Simeon spoke his words of prophesy”…this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel…and you yourself a sword will pierce…” Phanuel though, reassures Mary and Joseph that any suffering they undertake, or any suffering Jesus undertakes, will be of great value – it leads to the redemption of Jerusalem…when we read reference to Jerusalem in the Bible we should understand that as meaning the Church…our Church.
Mary and Joseph undertake a life of obedience in answering the call of the Father. They did not understand all that Jesus was going to do when He was born. They just trusted. That is all the Father asked of them, and it is all that Jesus asks of us. Today, consider where in your life you need to trust more beautifully. God has some incredible stuff in store for you! TRUST!
Go smile at God today!