Gospel: Lk 2:22-35
When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the baby up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every first born male shall be consecrated to God. And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
There lived in Jerusalem, at this time, a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel; and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord. So, he was led into the temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law.
Simeon took the child in his arms, and blessed God, saying,
“Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for you have fulfilled your word and my eyes have seen your salvation, which you display for all the people to see.
Here is the light you will reveal to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel.“
His father and mother wondered at what was said about the child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Know this: your son is a sign; a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.“
The purpose of presentation is to fulfill what is commanded by the Lord: “Every first born male shall be consecrated to God.“ The idea is to recognize the couple‘s giftedness. God has given them a gift of a son and it is but fitting that the “son-gift“ should be presented to God in thanksgiving and be offered back to be consecrated to God.
Jesus is God‘s gift not only to Mary and Joseph but to humanity. As a gift he was presented by his parents in thanksgiving and for consecration. His presentation prefigures what is to take place during the last supper and on the cross. The Jesus who was offered during the presentation is the same Jesus who was offered on the cross for our salvation. He is the same Jesus who is the offeror and the one being offered every time the Eucharist is celebrated. For this, Jesus is truly a gift to humanity!
Our life is God‘s gift to us, to our family and to the community. Like Jesus, we were also presented and consecrated to God in baptism. As Jesus lived up his consecration until the end of his earthly life, we must also show in our daily life our baptismal consecration by being gifts to God and to another.