Mary and Joseph "came to offer in sacrifice 'a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.' " —Luke 2:24
In presenting their children to the Lord, Jewish parents made a small sacrifice in place of sacrificing their children. However, in Jesus' Presentation, a small sacrifice did not replace a great sacrifice; rather, it prefigured Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on Calvary. Therefore, Jesus' Presentation is not a calling to less sacrifice but to sharing in Jesus' perfect sacrifice.
Today, we are called to be like Mary and open our hearts to be pierced with a sword of suffering (Lk 2:35). We are called to be like Anna, "worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer" (Lk 2:37). We should be like the candles blessed at Mass today and decide to be consumed as Jesus was so that His light will shine to all the world.
Today is a day of being crucified with Christ (Gal 2:19) and of finding our joy in suffering (Col 1:24) according to the pattern of His death (Phil 3:10). The Presentation is no longer in the Temple but at the cross. In love, present yourself to the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, in the school of unconditional love, teach me how to suffer.
Promise: "Now, Master, You can dismiss Your servant in peace; You have fulfilled Your word." —Lk 2:29
Praise: Praise Jesus, the Light to the nations, the Glory of Israel (Lk 2:32), and the Sign of Contradiction! (see Lk 2:34)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, July 28, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 1999