Todays feast, the Presentation, marks 40 days after Christ was born in Bethlehem. It marks the first time Jesus goes to the temple where he will meet his people. According to the law Joseph and Mary were required to take Jesus to the temple to serve two purposes. Firstly, for the redemption of the first born who belonged to the Lord according to the book of Exodus. Secondly for the purification of his blessed mother Mary.
The law required a child’s mother to offer sacrifice to overcome the ritual impurity brought about by childbirth. Mary presented the offering of the poor, two turtle doves or two young pigeons as a sacrifice. Jesus’ family belonged to the poor of Israel. Keep in mind Mary does not need to be purified from the birth of Jesus in truth his birth ushers in the purification of the world. But she obeys the law, and in this way, she serves the fulfillment of the law. The setting of the readings today all center on Jerusalem, the temple, and sacrificial rites. Simeon’s prophesy reveals a kind of a passion prophesy, the theology of glory linked to the theology of the cross.
In the language of the rising and falling of many there are echoes of the prophesy throughout all of history. We are challenged by God’s word to make choices. Mans contradiction of God runs throughout history. What proved Jesus to be the true sign of God in what he takes upon himself. The mothers sorry is revealed and cuts her to the heart. It is from Mary the meaning of true compassion is shown, in the true suffering of others taken on as her own. Like Simeon and Anna may we always share the wisdom that we gain in life and share it with the young to be a safeguard of the faith a legacy of belief in the truth of God. May the light of Christ shine brightly in us forever.