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Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

February 2, 2014

WHERE YOUNG AND OLD MEET

According to the Mosaic law, a woman who gives birth to a boy is unable for forty days to touch anything sacred or to enter the temple area by reason of her legal impurity. At the end of this period she is required to offer a year-old lamb as a burnt offering and a turtledove or young pigeon as an expiation of sin. The woman who could not afford a lamb offered instead two turtledoves or two young pigeons, as Mary and Joseph do in today’s Gospel.

In the temple, our Gospel highlights four individuals who embrace the new life of Jesus: the elderly and faithful Simeon; the old, wise prophetess Anna, and the young couple, Mary and Joseph, who in faithful obedience offer their child to the Lord.  Luke writes that “when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, the old Simeon took the baby into his arms and blessed God”.

The liturgy has us repeat Simeon’s words daily at night prayer:  “My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples, a light of revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel”.

CLICK HERE for the readings of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Malachi 2:1-4; Psalm 24; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40).

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