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Presentation in the Temple.Lk.2:21-35,Jan.2,11

In today’s reading from the Gospel, St. Luke gives an account of the Presentation of Jesus to the Lord at the Temple and the prophetic utterances of Simeon and Anna. According to Leviticus 12:1-8, the birth of a male child disqualifies an Israelite woman from touching any holy object or approaching the Temple for forty days. After that, she must offer sacrifice in Jerusalem.

“Among the Jews, the first born sons belonged to the Lord. Those not of the tribe of Levi had to be redeemed—in the temple, to show that they continued to be God’s property.” (Navarre Bible,P.252)

When a woman had borne a child, she had to come to the Temple after 40 days for purification. She had to bring a lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon for a sin offering. If she could not afford the lamb, she was permitted to bring another pigeon. As Mary and Joseph were poor, they brought two pigeons.
But their presentation of Jesus at the Temple became an occasion for Simeon to prophesy that Jesus would bring salvation to the world and that Mary would experience severe agony on account of the ministry of Jesus. Simeon describes in a few words the mission of Jesus—the light of the gentiles and the glory of Israel.

There is no other Savior for mankind except Jesus. It is in Him the world should find its salvation. Simeon has thus in a few words paraphrased the essential mission of Jesus as the Light of the World.
What does the presentation of Jesus mean for us? Does the Presentation of Jesus offer us any insight into the nature of our lives?
We too were presented to the Lord through our Baptism and Confirmation. We became the children of God and the recipients of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But how are we living our faith?
This New Year offers us an opportunity to change our ways of life and to become new persons. The famous theologian, John Powell once remarked that it was sad that one would go through life without loving and much more sad if one would pass through life without expressing love towards the person one had loved.

Love is at the core of Christian life. Jesus has summarized his all his teachings into the commandment of love— love of God and the love of the neighbor. St. Paul shows in his Letter to the Corinthians that the most essential virtue that a Christian should have is love. Without love, all other accomplishments in our life mean nothing. This shows us how important it is for each one of us to be persons of love—persons who would seek the well-being of our neighbors.

Our family life will undergo a sea-change if we can show this love to the members of our own family itself. So too our interactions in our community would also become different if we become capable of desiring the good of our neighbors.
May the Presentation of the Lord be an occasion for us to rededicate ourselves to God and to become the beacons of light to those who are groping in the darkness of a loveless life.This New year offers us ,thus, an opportunity for the renewal of our faith and for a change of our attitudes .


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