Homily for Sunday, 2 February 2013
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord: Mal 3:1-4, Heb 2:14-18, Lk 2:22-40
The Gospel on Feb 2 each year is about Mary presenting her child in the temple. It was the Jewish way of recognizing that life is from God and belongs to God. Such presentation was the norm for all Jewish newborns of the time, as was our baptism as babies in the modern Church. As we admire Mother and Child, we should renew the presentation of ourselves. I came from God, and so did you, but do we really present ourselves as children on the way home to God? It's clearly 'prophesied' by Jesus himself, but do we give faith a good chance? The Gospel mentions that old Simeon recognised this special appearance of the Messiah (Lk 2:25). Jesus prophesies clearly to us that we can follow him. Do we really recognize that? It's up to us. But are we ready and willing to do whatever God wants? Mary knew well that the arrival of Jesus was the confirmation of God's promise, but Jesus then spent his life trying to convince us that we have the same destination. But it's up to us to arrive at that destination.
The journey brings challenges. The first reading prophesies Christ's coming as a refining fire etc… Mixed metals can be purified. We all need to be refined by the challenges of Jesus - to love as He loved. We can become 'works of art' - of Divine art. 'But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears?'. Maybe we're not so tremendously strong and upstanding at present, but we can grow up. The mass of this Feast traditionaly begins with a little procession of candles, which symbolises the way Simeon describes Christ as 'the light to enlighten the gentiles' but that's more than just a memory of the past. Each of us is then supposed to spread the Light of Christ throughout this dark world. Let's live like children in the arms of Mary so that we can be presented too.