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Saturday, February 2, 2013

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Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 24:7-10
Luke 2:22-40

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the question of ownership

"The couple brought Him up to Jerusalem so that He could be presented to the Lord, for it is written in the law of the Lord, 'Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord.' " —Luke 2:22-23

The presentation of the first-born son was a way of remembering how the Lord freed the Israelites from the slavery of Egypt by killing all the first-born of the Egyptians (Ex 13:14ff). The presentation of the first-born was also an acknowledgment that God owned everything. That is part of the reason why the Lord called Abraham to sacrifice his first-born, Isaac (Gn 22:9). The Israelites offered the first fruits of the harvest to the Lord (see Lv 23:17). Moreover, in the new covenant, the first day of the week was offered to the Lord, and therefore called the Lord's Day. When we present to the Lord the first-born, the first fruits, and the first day, we acknowledge from the very first that the Lord owns not only the first, but the last. Everything belongs to Him.

On this feast of the Presentation, will you acknowledge that your life — that is, your money, time, energy, relationships, abilities, sexuality, opportunities, possessions, etc. — belong to the Lord? (see Rm 14:8) "You are not your own" (1 Cor 6:19). You don't own yourself. God owns you because He created you and because His Son, Jesus, has purchased you at the price of His blood (1 Cor 6:20). Therefore, don't try to protect your territory. You own no territory. Don't cling to your money, possessions, or time, because they are not really yours. Say with Paul: "I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own" (Gal 2:19-20).

Prayer:  Jesus, it is not I that live, but You Who live within me (Gal 2:20).

Promise:  "Suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord Whom you seek." —Mal 3:1

Praise:  Praise Jesus, the Light to the nations! (Lk 2:32) Alleluia!

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 13, 2012

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