Sunday, February 2, 2020

Feast of the Presentation of Jesus

This is one of my favorite mysteries, when Jesus is presented in the Temple. I recall the baptism of Michael and the kids, how I gave them back to God--I knew finally that they belong to Him. I also like to pray for the gift of obedience because there's nothing more I want than to live in the Divine Will. I'm discovering it's where my true happiness lies. 

This year, the feast falls on a Sunday so we'll celebrate with a High Mass with another favorite--Missa cum Jubilo--along with the blessing of candles. The picture is from the Sherbrooke Missal.

Like Jan. 1st has several feasts associated with it--Octave of Nativity, Circumcision, Holy Name of Jesus, Mary Mother of God, so Feb. 2nd is also known by different aspects when Sts. Joseph and Mary bring the Infant Jesus to the Temple: the Presentation of Jesus, the Purification of Mary, Candlemas, and the Meeting (Simeon and Anna meet the Christ-child and recognize His Divinity). Simeon's song, Nunc dimittis, is sung at the end of the night (Compline). Below is the full account of the Presentation (Luke 2:22-40) Christe lux mundi:
When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
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,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
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.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
--and you yourself a sword will pierce--
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

Msgr. Pope has a beautiful reflection on this Meeting along with a little history lesson.  

Benny Boo ended up knocking over St. Joseph, breaking his hand. This Nativity set has gone through several mishaps. I'm surprised the angel is still standing. She was wobbly from the start and lost her arm and trumpet from another cat attack, but is fixed up well enough. This week I'll put away Christmas (but it always remains in my heart) and begin preparations for Lent. A dear friend sent me this perfect tea-towel for my birthday. It's already helping us to keep our monkish routines and inspiring me to write--there just might be a picture book hidden in that tea-towel (I'm a sucker for shiny new ideas, especially in the middle of revisions). It's my new favorite towel and it keeps getting softer and softer.

I just received a lovely note from my aunt reminding me that today is also the death anniversary of her oldest brother, my uncle Rev. Dinanath Pathak. He was the first-born of seven and consecrated to the Lord. What a beautiful grace to return home on this Feast of the Presentation! We pray for him even as we ask for his prayers. 


Mirka Breen said...

I ask daily to be an instrument of G-d's will. I think our kitties definitely are.

Vijaya said...

Bless you! I often complain that our cats are not fulfilling their purpose when they sit on the piano bench or the couch, instead of my lap but every year I see how much more affectionate and trusting they're becoming. I see the same happening within me with my heavenly Father.