Mary and Joseph "brought Him up to Jerusalem so that He could be presented to the Lord." —Luke 2:22
The Jewish practice of presenting a child to the Lord stems from the concept that the child truly belongs to God. According to the law of Moses, the husband and wife present their first-born child to the Lord, thus acknowledging God as the Author and Owner of the life of this child (see Ex 13:2; Lv 12:6-8). Along with presenting their child, the couple also presents a sacrifice, a kind of payment, in this case a pair of doves, and God returns the child to the care of the parents.
There is a second presentation in the life of Jesus. Jesus presents all of humanity to God, Who is truly the Owner of each human life. As the sacrifice, Jesus presents Himself in payment for humanity and all their sins and transgressions against God. The Father accepted this sacrifice, because Jesus offered a sacrifice of infinite value (see Phil 2:6-11). At long last, God is receiving a sacrifice worthy of His dignity and majesty.
Therefore, since we have been bought by the blood of Jesus crucified, let us present our entire lives to God as a living sacrifice on this feast of the Presentation of the Lord (Rm 12:1-2). Give Him your thoughts, desires, strength, heart, lives, and actions. Present yourself on the altar of God with gratitude and love.
Prayer: Father, when You look on me, I ask You to see the blood of Jesus, my Savior, as my ransom price. I present myself to You as a member of the Body of Your Son.
Promise: "[Jesus] had to become like His brothers in every way, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest before God on their behalf, to expiate the sins of the people." Heb 2:17
Praise: Thank you, Sts. Joseph and Mary, for your faithful example. Even in poverty, you remained obedient to the law of Moses (see Lv 12:8).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019
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