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Monday, February 2, 1998

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Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 24
Luke 2:22-40

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doing your own thing?

"Jesus likewise had a full share in ours, that by His death He might rob the devil, the prince of death, of his power, and free those who through fear of death had been slaves their whole life long." —Hebrews 2:14-15

The presentation of the first-born male child to the Lord was a statement and a sign that the child, and everything else, belongs to the Lord (Ex 13:2; Ps 24:1). The presentation is a recognition that God is the Owner of everything.

The presentation is also a reminder of the Exodus, when the Lord freed the entire Israelite nation after the deaths of all the first-born in Egypt (Ex 13:15). The presentation is a remembrance of freedom.

These two meanings of the presentation are related. To be free, we must know that we are owned by God. Otherwise, we will try to do our own thing, as if we owned anything so as to have an "own thing." When we are deceived into thinking we have an "own thing" to do, we are forced into slavery to the world, the flesh, and the devil. Only by acknowledging God's ownership of us are we protected from becoming slaves.

Today, in the spirit of Jesus' presentation, joyfully acknowledge God's ownership of you. Then look "forward to the deliverance" (Lk 2:38) and freedom that only God can give (see Jn 8:36).

Prayer:  Father, through Jesus and in the Spirit, I am all Yours.

Promise:  "Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word." —Lk 2:29

Praise:  Praise Jesus, "a revealing Light to the Gentiles, the Glory of Your people Israel" (Lk 2:32).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997