Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD
Psalter: Proper / (White)
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 24: 7, 8, 9, 10: Who is this King of Glory? It is the Lord!
1st Reading: Malachi 3: 1-4
Now I am sending my messenger ahead of me, to clear the way; then, suddenly, the Lord, for whom you long, will enter the Sanctuary. The envoy of the Covenant which you so greatly desire, already comes, says Yahweh of hosts. Who can bear the day of his coming and remain standing when he appears? For he will be like fire in the foundry and like the lye used for bleaching.
He will be as a refiner or a fuller. He will purify the sons of Levi and refi ne them, like gold and silver. So Yahweh will have priests who will present the offering as it should be. Then Yahweh will accept with pleasure the offering of Judah and Jerusalem, as in former days.
2nd Reading: Hebrews 2: 14-18
And because all those children share one same nature of flesh and blood, Jesus, likewise, had to share this nature. This is why his death destroyed the one holding the power of death, that is the devil, and freed those who remained in bondage all their lifetime, because of the fear of death.
Jesus came, to take by the hand, not the angels but the human race. So, he had to be like his brothers and sisters, in every respect, in order to be the high priest, faithful to God and merciful to them, a priest, able to ask pardon, and atone for their sins. Having been tested through suffering, he is able to help those who are tested.
Gospel: Luke 2: 22-40
When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the baby up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every first-born male shall be consecrated to God.
And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. There lived in Jerusalem, at this time, a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him.
He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel; and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord.
So, he was led into the temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law. Simeon took the child in his arms, and blessed God, saying,
“Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for you have fulfilled your word and my eyes have seen your salvation, which you display for all the people to see. Here is the light you will reveal to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.”
His father and mother wondered at what was said about the child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Know this: your son is a sign; a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction;
and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess named Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
After leaving her father’s home, she had been seven years with her husband; and since then, she had been continually about the temple, serving God, as a widow, night and day, in fasting and prayer.
She was now eighty-four. Coming up at that time, she gave praise to God, and spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When the parents had fulfilled all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their town, Nazareth in Galilee.
There, the child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom: the grace of God was upon him.
“Light of the world.”
Today's Feast is associated with candle-lighting which in turn reminds us of Jesus Christ as the light of the world. He is the light that enlightens us all, taking us away from the darkness of despair. Nunc dimittis, the cry of Simeon, presents itself as a statement of hope.
Anna, as the Gospel narrates, also appeared very hopeful as she spoke of the child Jesus. Jesus is our light of hope but he is also the sign that is to be contradicted. He is the light that generates hope but we need to accept and welcome him into our lives.
Jesus presents himself to us every day but if we reject him then we will surely remain in the darkness of despair.
In today’s Gospel, Simeon is described as a very righteous and devout man while Anna is presented as a woman of prayer. They were drawn close to Jesus and they welcomed him, making them hopeful not only for themselves but for all the people.
Jesus shares his light of hope to us, his followers that we may also become the beacons of hope whenever and wherever there is despair.
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