February 2, 2017

Presentation

February 2, 2017:  Presentation of the Lord

See 18 connections with today?
Legend below

Listen

  • Thus saith the Lord/But who may abide the day of his coming?, from Messiah/ Handel:  traditional, "soulful" (1st reading)

Pope Francis
For World Day of Consecrated Life:  Pray for those in religious and consecrated life, called to profess the evangelical counsels, that their life witness and charismatic service bear fruit for the faithful, and for the Church's evangelizing mission, radiating Christ's love and the grace of the gospel to the world.

Welcome the needy:  We live in cities that throw up skyscrapers but abandon those on the periphery, so many have no job, options, or way out.  Don’t abandon them.  Pray that the afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalized, may find welcome and comfort in our communities.
Read
    Turtle doves (gospel)
  • Mal 3:1-4  My messenger will prepare the way.  The Lord will come to the temple, but who will endure that day?  He, like the refiner’s fire, will purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer sacrifice pleasing to God.
  • Ps 24:7-10  "Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!"  Open up that the king of glory, strong and mighty, may enter!
    Two young pigeons (gospel)
  • Heb 2:14-18  Jesus shared in our flesh to free those subject to slavery.  He had to become like us to expiate sin.  Because he was tested through suffering, he can help those being tested.
  • Lk 2:22-40  Mary and Joseph presented Jesus to God.  Simeon prayed to their amazement:  “Master, you may let me go in peace; I've seen your salvation, a light to Gentiles and glory for Israel.” To Mary: “This child will be a sign to be contradicted, and a sword will pierce you.”  Prophetess Anna thanked God and spoke about the child.  Jesus grew and became strong and wise, and God's favor was on him.  They returned to Nazareth.
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Though today's feast is called Presentation of the Lord, “the Presentation of Jesus” may be preferable because it's about the human baby Jesus.  But the Church's title better catches Luke's apparent intention.  Gabriel had announced the unborn Jesus as Son of the Most High, Elizabeth had implicitly called the child in Mary’s womb Lord, and the angel had announced Jesus as “Messiah and Lord.”  So Luke is aware of the irony when he writes that Mary and Joseph “presented him to the Lord,” offering sacrifice in accord with the law of the Lord.  The child, to be proclaimed as Messiah and Lord, begins his earthly existence obedient to the Lord.  A further irony, the offering of the sacrifice to redeem the firstborn, is done for the One who will offer himself to redeem the world.  Simeon, knowing the story, blesses God with language a slave might use upon being freed:  “Master, you may let your servant ('slave') go in peace.”  Then he describes Jesus as the suffering servant Israel, salvation in person, the glory of his people, a light for revelation to the gentiles, including us.  We who claim Jesus as Lord take that mission as ours.  Lord, teach us to receive Jesus as our light so deeply that we become light to those around us.
      Presentation of Christ
      in the Temple (Holbein)
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Come as you are":  In the spirit of today's celebration, we present ourselves to the Lord, who became like us that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest before God on our behalf.  Some days things are going so badly, all we can do is come before the Lord as we are and pray. "Have mercy on me, a sinner." We can always present ourselves to Jesus:  "Lord, I don't have much to offer you, but what I have I give you."  Present yourself before Jesus, just as you are.  "I will refresh you."  "I won't reject anyone who comes."  We can "approach God through him." Present yourself to Jesus today, and receive his lifegiving love.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "The favor of God was upon him":  Children are gifts from God.  Jesus was born in an ordinary home with no luxuries, and his parents raised him in the fear and wisdom of God.  He obeyed them and grew in wisdom and grace.  The Lord's favor is with those who listen to him with trust and obedience. / Simeon, in tune with the Spirit, believed the Lord would renew his people and also bring salvation to the Gentiles.  He recognized baby Jesus as the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies, hopes, and prayers and prophesied that Jesus would be "a revealing light to the Gentiles."  The Spirit reveals the Lord's presence to those open and eager to receive him. / Jesus is the new temple:  God manifested his presence in cloud and fire.  His glory dwelt over the ark and the tabernacle.  It rested on the first Jerusalem temple, and when the temple was destroyed, Ezekiel saw God's glory leave it.  But God promised to fill it with greater glory; later, the King of Glory came to his temple.  Through Jesus we're made living temples of the Spirit. / Simeon prophesied to Mary about Jesus' destiny and her suffering.  Her blessedness would become a sword that pierced her heart as her Son died.  But the sorrow didn't diminish her joy because of her faith, hope, and trust in God.  The Lord gives us joy that enables us to bear any sorrow or pain. / Spirit-filled Anna was a woman of great hope, a model of godliness to all who advance in age.  Her hope and faith fueled her prayer and service.  The Spirit gives hope to all who trust God; it enables us to persevere through any challenges.  May I give God everything I have....
    Dress legend
    • 'Clocks' suspenders:  who shall endure the day of his coming? (1st reading)
    • 'Fire' pin:  He is like the refiner's fire (1st reading)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord is the king of glory (psalm)
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  Since the children share in blood and flesh, so did Jesus (2nd reading)
    • 'Christmas lights' tie:  Christ is a light to the nations (gospel); Christmas season used to extend through today
    • Gold- and silver-colored accessories:  The Lord will refine Levi like gold or silver (1st reading)
    • 'Angel' pin:  Jesus helped Abraham's descendants, not angels (2nd reading)
    • 'Dove' pin:  The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon (gospel)
    • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "Now you may let your servant go in peace"; Jesus will be 'sign' to be contradicted (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "My eyes have seen your salvation" (gospel)
    • 'Mary' pin:  "Mary,..." (gospel)
      • 'Sword' tie pin:  Simeon:  "...a sword will pierce you..." (gospel)
      • 'Heart' pin:  "...so the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (gospel)
      • 'Owl' pin:  Jesus grew in wisdom (gospel)
      • White shirt (and socks):  Color of today's feast of the Lord