Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord- observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord- and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace,
just as you promised;
because my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared for all the nations to see,
a light to enlighten the pagans
and the glory of your people Israel’.
As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected, and a sword will pierce your own soul too so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare’.
There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.
When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God s favour was with him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
A Gospel Reflection
The Presentation of the Lord
In today’s first reading, the prophet Malachi announces that the Lord will one day enter his Temple in Jerusalem as the refiner and purifier of his people, so that their worship will be as the Lord desires it. In John’s Gospel, Jesus declares that he will enable people to worship God as God wants to be worshipped, a worship in spirit and truth. Jesus is referring to a worship of God that is inspired by the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. This worship of God, inspired by the Spirit of God, is not confined to a religious building, a church. The Spirit inspires us to worship God not only with our lips, as in the liturgy, but with our lives. Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans refers to our spiritual worship, by which he means a worship which embraces all of our lives. He calls on us to present our bodies, our embodied selves, as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. This is the worship of our lives. Each day we are to offer our lives to God. This was the kind of worship that characterised the life of Jesus. In the gospel reading, Mary and Joseph came to the principal place of worship for Jews, the Temple. They come not just to worship, but to present their son to God. As an adult, Jesus lived out that presentation of himself to God that was made by his parents at this time. Throughout his adult life, Jesus presented himself as a living sacrifice to God, in the words of Saint Paul. He lived his life with a clear focus on God at all times. Jesus calls on us to have that same focus. Because Jesus is the full revelation of God, to live our lives with a clear focus on God means living our lives with a clear focus on Jesus, our risen Lord. Today’s feast encourages us to keep presenting ourselves, our hearts, minds and bodies, to the Lord. We are to keep our relationship with the Lord to the fore in all we say and do. In that way, our whole lives will be a worship of the Lord.
Gospel and Gosple Reflection are taken from Mass Readings and Sunday Homily - Catholicireland.net.