Having a saint to pray to every day for special intentions draws us into a more intimate union with Jesus, who has blessed us with so many heavenly intercessors for all our needs. It is a great privilege to have someone in heaven who cares so much about our innermost desires and personal needs.
Mary's presentation was celebrated in Jerusalem in the sixth century. A church was built there in honor of this mystery. The Eastern Church was more interested in the feast, but it does appear in the West in the 11th century. Although the feast at times disappeared from the calendar, in the 16th century it became a feast of the universal Church. As with Mary's birth, we read of Mary's presentation in the temple only in apocryphal literature. In what is recognized as an unhistorical account, the Protoevangelium of James tells us that Anna and Joachim offered Mary to God in the Temple when she was three years old. This was to carry out a promise made to God when Anna was still childless.
Though it cannot be proven historically, Mary's presentation has an important theological purpose. It continues the impact of the feasts of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) and of the birth of Mary (September 8). It emphasizes that the holiness conferred on Mary from the beginning of her life on earth continued through her early childhood and beyond.
It is sometimes difficult for modern Westerners to appreciate a feast like this. The Eastern Church, however, was quite open to this feast and even somewhat insistent about celebrating it. Even though the feast has no basis in history, it stresses an important truth about Mary: From the beginning of her life, she was dedicated to God. She herself became a greater temple than any made by hands. God came to dwell in her in a marvelous manner and sanctified her for her unique role in God's saving work. At the same time, the magnificence of Mary enriches her children. They, too, are temples of God and sanctified in order that they might enjoy and share in God's saving work.
"Hail, holy throne of God, divine sanctuary, house of glory, jewel most fair, chosen treasure house, and mercy seat for the whole world, heaven showing forth the glory of God. Purest Virgin, worthy of all praise, sanctuary dedicated to God and raised above all human condition, virgin soil, unplowed field, flourishing vine, fountain pouring out waters, virgin bearing a child, mother without knowing man, hidden treasure of innocence, ornament of sanctity, by your most acceptable prayers, strong with the authority of motherhood, to our Lord and God, Creator of all, your Son who was born of you without a father, steer the ship of the Church and bring it to a quiet harbor" (adapted from a homily by St. Germanus on the Presentation of the Mother of God).
Saint of the Day Lives, Lessons and Feast By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....
God is not foreign to my freedom. Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires, gently nudging me towards all that is good. I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.
Knowing that God loves me unconditionally, I look honestly over the last day, its events and my feelings. Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me. Then the voice spoke to me and said: "Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land." So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, "Take and swallow it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey." I took the small scroll from the angel's hand and swallowed it. In my mouth it was like sweet honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. Then someone said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings."
R. (103a) How sweet to my taste is your promise! In the way of your decrees I rejoice, as much as in all riches. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! How sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth! R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! Your decrees are my inheritance forever; the joy of my heart they are. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise! I gasp with open mouth in my yearning for your commands. R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, "It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves." And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.
Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Your decrees are my delight. (Psalm 119:24) Most people don't like being told what to do. Especially as we grow up, rules seem less necessary and even a little stuffy. Try this simple test: what is your first reaction when you think of the Ten Commandments? Don't they remind you of things you had to memorize when you were a child rather than a set of life-giving guidelines that you keep close to your heart every day? So why is today's psalmist so excited about rules? When it comes to God's decrees, says the psalmist, nothing could be better. They are more precious than gold and silver, sweeter than honey. He goes so far as to yearn for God's commands, as if to say, "More! Give me more!" Here's something to notice, however. The psalmist has a lot of different words for the law: decrees, promises, precepts, word. It's not just a matter of commandments that we have to follow. It's a way of life that brings fulfillment and peace. This makes sense if we consider the books known as "the Law" in the Jewish Scriptures. These first five books of the Bible include a lot more than just rules; there are history, drama, spiritual lessons, and a host of colorful characters. Taken together, these books tell the story of God's redemptive work among his chosen people. This story, this sweep of salvation history, is what the psalmist is so enthusiastic about! Still, even if we do narrow our view to the Ten Commandments, we can find cause for rejoicing. Pick any commandment. What would be the long-term results of disregarding it? Pain, brokenness, separation from others and from God. Contrast this with the benefits of following that commandment. A healthy relationship with God, a stable family life, relationships of trust with friends and neighbors, a balanced life. God's decrees really are sweeter than honey! Take some time today to think about one of the commandments that you have been obeying pretty consistently. Maybe you are respectful toward your parents. Perhaps you set apart the Sabbath for rest and worship. Now think about all the good fruit that has been borne in your life because of your obedience to this one law. Doesn't this thought fill you with delight? "Father, thank you for showing me the way to life."
Revelation 10:8-11; Luke 19:45-48
my2cents: From 5minutos I will translate: "What do we celebrate in the Presentation of Mary? The essence of offering, it is the consecration, it is of giving to God. And this does have basis in the Word. We see when the Angel greets Mary, She declares herself "slave of the Lord" St. Luke 1:38. But She does not begin to be a slave of the Lord when she began to shine the angelic vision before her eyes. It is undoubtedly the will of Mary can welcome the word of the Angel because the will of Mary was already very well placed in God. And so one asks oneself from when, and one can see the absolute docility of Mary from loving the Lord, it is solely explainable from her dedication, from an offering of herself, and that is what we are celebrating here. We believe with good reason that offering of self goes back to the first conscious acts that this little Girl had. And so we believe that the Presentation of Mary what is truly being celebrated is the offering of Her, that is to say, that permanent docility, from such early infancy, that total opening of loving/wanting of God, not by imposition, but from that love. What great example, what blessed example for all of us! Mary, give us of your heart, give us of your "yes", give us of that look, for us also to be the mystery of the presentation and of offering on this day and all of our lives, that this be pleasing to the Lord, like it was of Mary." As I was translating, I sometimes have to interpret words in a way that will come across more correctly in English. At one point I couldn't translate "querer de Dios". Querer means loving but also means wanting. So is it the same thing? If I love someone I want them. Do you "want" God? Mary did. This is beautiful. She was dedicated to God, much like when us baptized as infants are dedicated to His Kingdom. And as we grow to the age of consciousness we soon find ourselves in Revelation. When John took the scroll into his mouth in today's 1st Holy Scripture, what do you think that scroll was? Over and over today we read the Word. He was consuming the Word. What else could a scroll hold but words!? And the Word was made flesh. It was sweet and then sour to the stomach. Such is the Eucharist, the consecrated bread, and the Blood, the consecrated wine. Consecration though means transformation. If Mary was consecrated to God for a purpose, then we are too. Once you consume the Word, Jesus is inside, much like when Jesus was inside of Mary in the womb, but He passes through our whole body and first through the heart of man. Now we are speaking of a temple that loves the Lord, an ark of a covenant. The Psalms we prayed said "How sweet to my taste is your promise". Last night before going to bed, before my brother in law went to his room we spoke of God. I told him the importance of tithing "don't show up to Church with nothing to give....plan on giving". But as I thought about it later, I was almost saying "everything God asks for is good". Then, the Psalms are absolutely correct "Yes, your decrees are my delight". Thus was the answer of Mary to the archangel Gabriel. "YES" she said, I am the handmaid of the Lord. This is a slap in the face to all those protestants who believe Mary is an obstacle to get to our Lord. She is His slave, doing his bidding, his evangelization. Do you want to know what I was saying to that young man after the wedding this weekend? I said "there is a shortcut to becoming a better Christian, and it is through Mary...do you know why she appeared as Our Lady of Guadalupe? Do you know why she appeared at Lourdes?" And he said no. I said "it was ultimately to have a church built to honor the Lord Jesus". She wants a church for God, and it was through these apparitions that millions upon millions have converted to Christianity." And I wouldn't just be saying it, if I hadn't tasted it for myself. For those that don't know what Jesus tastes like, start praying to Mary to find out what it is like to carry Jesus inside, to carry Joy inside, to carry the Promise inside, to carry Peace inside. Because if you don't experience it firsthand, it is hard to explain, much like a conversion story. And we are speaking of small transformations that make for a major transformation. Let there be no room for doubt. You too have been chosen to read the Word but more, taste it, consume it, and it becomes embedded in every cell of your body, and it is truth, so you have to consume it with truth. It is a promise from you to Him and Him to you. That is why it is called a Sacrament, an oath to God. Not Catholic? Not fair? LOL, I challenge you to pray, and ask angels to help, beginning with God's angel on earth...Mary. Let this be our day of dedication to the Lord, of wanting Him that is LOVING HIM
"I shall love You, I shall love You always; when day breaks, when evening turns into night, at every hour, at every moment. I shall love You always, always, always." -St. Gemma Galgani