Recognizing the Lord
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord (February 2, 2019): MAL 3:1-4; PS 24:7,8,9,10; HEB 2:14-18; LK 2:22-40
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
At this feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we celebrate Jesus as He enters the temple of Jerusalem, the temple of His Father, while a newborn.
The Gospels tell us of later occasions when our Savior goes there, but this is His first visit. He was brought there by Mary and Joseph to fulfill the Jewish laws and rituals. The Holy Family revealed the obedience, faith and humility that God seeks in all of us. In St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews we hear him proclaim the humanity of Christ who is also divine. “Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil.… Therefore, He had to become like His brothers and sisters in every way, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God” (Hebrews 2:14,17).
At Mass, we honor the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Today we can pause to consider the immensity of this miracle. God sent His Son to live with His people – to be one of His people. He came as our Messiah, our Savior and, at the Presentation, He is recognized by a holy man and woman who instantly tell all who will listen just who He is. Yet we are not told whether any of the listeners believed them. When Jesus began His public ministry, He was accepted by some, while He was ignored, hated or feared by others. Our Lord is the Light of the world for all who will see. Simeon and Anna knew Him and shared their firm belief that He was the Christ. We can ask ourselves if we are willing to share our faith through our daily words and actions.
Suggested missionary action: Let us celebrate the Presentation, also known as Candlemas, by lighting a candle in church. We can thank God for sending His Son to save us – and ask Him to help us light the world by sharing the brightness of Christ within us.