The Presentation of the Lord


The Law of Moses required that the first-born male child was to be offered to God as thanks for sparing the Israelites during the Passover in Egypt.

The mother would also be purified when the sacrifice of a lamb was offered at the time of this presentation, which took place forty days after the birth of the child. Mary offers a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, revealing her poverty.

Joseph and Mary presented Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem where the baby Jesus was recognized as the long-awaited savior by two prophets, Simeon and Anna.

Forty days after Christmas, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of Lord on February 2. It is also known as Candlemas or the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary.

Candles that are used during Mass, while administering the sacraments, and in other liturgical celebrations are blessed at this time. Candles represent Christ who is the Light of the World.

Saint John Paul II instituted a special day of prayer, World Day for Consecrated Life, and attached it to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This is to honor those consecrated men and women who reflect the light of Jesus upon the world through his Church.

The Presentation of the Lord is meditated on as the 4th Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.

The true lamb of God enters the temple:

Ready to greet the Jesus when He comes:

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took Him 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 Messiah 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 sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

Luke 2: 22-32

Commemorating the Presentation at the Temple of Jerusalem:

Mary and Joseph were obedient to the Jewish Law:

Presenting the Lord in a place of sacrifice:

Anticipating salvation and sorrow:

The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs to the Lord. With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Savior-the name given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the “light to the nations” and the “glory of Israel”, but also “a sign that is spoken against”. The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ’s perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had “prepared in the presence of all peoples”.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 529

A great theme of light:

Candles are an important part of the Christian faith:

On today’s Feast we contemplate the Lord Jesus, Whom Mary and Joseph bring to the Temple “to present Him to the Lord”. This Gospel scene reveals the mystery of the Son of the Virgin, the consecrated One of the Father who came into the world to do his will faithfully. Simeon identifies Him as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles” and announces with prophetic words his supreme offering to God and his final victory. This is the meeting point of the two Testaments, Old and New. Jesus enters the ancient temple; He who is the new Temple of God: He comes to visit his people, thus bringing to fulfilment obedience to the Law and ushering in the last times of salvation.

Pope Benedict XVI, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 2 February 2011

Mary did not need purification:

A day to celebrate consecrated life:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Art is something that comes from God:

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