Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

by Fr D. Mazibuko OSM

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1st Reading: Malachi 3:1-4
2nd Reading: Hebrews 2:14-18
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

This Sunday the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord to the Temple. It is a Feast in which we recall the day Jesus was presented to the Temple in fulfilment of the Law of Moses. The earthly parents of Jesus observe the Law. This was an important day for both the parents and the child. This is a Feast that draws the family together. We see both parents bringing the baby Jesus. They are both present in the initial formative moments in the life of Jesus. His presentation to the Temple is also an occasion for Jesus to meet the people he has come for. And so this Feast is not just about Jesus being presented to the Temple, it is our Feast too for today Jesus is presented to us.

In the gospel we hear in the song of Simeon, that the arrival of the Messiah had been announced and that the Jews awaited Him with open hearts. This is evidenced by Simeon’s declaration that ‘now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace just as you promised, because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see’. This promise is we could say is in the first reading, ‘I am going to send my messenger, the Lord you are seeking will suddenly enter his Temple. These words, these promises are being fulfilled today as Jesus enters the Temple. This Feast is a Feast of fulfilment of God’s promises, a Feast in which the earthly parents of Jesus fulfill the Law of Moses

We also hear in both the first reading and the gospel of the Mission Jesus has. In the first reading, the messenger will take his seat and refine the sons of Israel like silver and gold. He will make the old new. And in the gospel, Jesus will be a light to the gentiles. He will bring about salvation, he will free God’s people. For this reason, Simeon is filled with gratitude to God. What could this Feast mean for you and me today? I believe this Feast shows us that God fulfils His promises. He will fulfil the promises made to us by Jesus. But what did Jesus promise us? He promised us eternal life. The readings of today’s Feast give every reason to have faith that that which has been promised us will be ours. And as God fulfils his promise, we need to welcome this PRECIOUS GIFT into our homes and to our daily experiences. Clearly Jesus cannot reside only in the Temple. Our mission is to present Him to the world.