Retreat Reflections- The Presentation at the Temple

Sometimes things are given to us in manners that we least expect. Some call them “blessings in disguise,” (or if you watch Ugly Betty, “Blessings in the skies…”) but it reminds us that we should always be alert and on the look out for the unexpected.

22When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”[a]), 24and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”[b]

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29″Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss[c] your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel.”

33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[d] She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

After the Birth of Christ, Mary and Joseph, following the rules of the land, took their newborn baby to be presented to the Lord which on the surface is kind of weird considering that their child WAS the Lord but it almost foreshadows when Christ says in Matthew 22:21. Whatever their reasonings, Mary and Joseph followed the law.

At the temple, the young family encountered Simeon and Anna, who had been waiting, waiting, waiting for the coming of the Messiah and there He was! They recognized Him right away! Do you think that Simeon and Anna expected the Savior of the World to be an infant?? Most likely not, but they were ready for Him in whatever form He arrived.

St. Paul in his first Letter to the Corinthians says: “13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13) Simeon and Anna were filled with hope for their Savior’s arrival, their faith lead them to recognize their Savior when He arrived in an unconventional form, and only a hard-hearted person could NOT Love a baby.

The Presentation


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Filed under Art, mothering, sacraments, tradition

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