Wednesday, February 01, 2006

February 2: The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple

On this day many Christians are remembering an important event in the life of Our Lord Jesus, his presentation and the purification of his mother Mary, as prescribed by the Torah, in the temple. You can read the story in Luke 2:22-40. My Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible provides this commentary:


In modern society the elderly are rarely held in high esteem. They are shunted off to senior citizens' homes where they are cared for by professional staff rather than their own families. We seem to be saying their usefulness is past, and the increasing tolerance of euthanasia underscores that belief. This is not God's attitude. Simeon and Anna are the senior citizens of Luke's version of Jesus' birth, and they know and understand
more than anyone else. Of all the people that Jerusalem's streets were teeming with the day that Jesus was named--the rich, the powerful, the young, the holy--only Simeon and Anna are given insight into who is being carried into the Temple courts in his parents' arms. In fact, they know more than Mary or Joseph, who are astonished at what Simeon says about Jesus. It is clear that God has placed great value on Anna and Simeon and that he does not think he is wasting the Holy Spirit on two seniors who have passed the prime of their
lives.

The story of the presentation of Jesus and the purification of Mary is full of good news, so good in fact that many Christians, using the church's "Night Prayer" or "Compline," sing or say the Song of Simeon (often referred to as the Nunc Dimittus, its Latin name) each evening before they go to bed.

If you wish to celebrate this day with other Christiains, visit the following:

Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord
Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ
The Presentation of Our Lord: Candlemas
The Presentation (Meeting) of Our Lord in the Temple

After reading the Gospel story in Luke, perhaps you'd like to share your thoughts. Please do so.

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