The Presentation of the Lord
My eyes have seen the light of salvation!
Almighty ever-living God,
we humbly implore your majesty that,
just as your Only Begotten Son
was presented on this day in the Temple
in the substance of our flesh,
so by your grace,
we may be presented to you with minds made pure.
Forty days after Christmas, we observe the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple (the feast of Candlemas), when we celebrate Christ as the light of the world. In many places candles are blessed in church and carried in procession to welcome him. This day also marks the end of Christmastide, and the slow return of longer daylight hours.
Today’s First Reading is a prophecy in which we can recognise the Messiah. His coming will be a challenge, but also good news for those who welcome him.
We sing the Psalm as we follow the Lord, our King of glory.
Christ has come to live among us as one of us. Although he is God’s Son, he was tempted in every way that we are, and so is able to help us in our temptations (Second Reading).
The Gospel reminds us of the first time the Lord entered the Temple, with Mary and Joseph. There he meets Simeon, an old man who recognises Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah; together with Anna,
a prophetess who tells everyone she meets about him.
As we read Simeon’s warning to Mary that her son will be rejected, and that a sword will pierce her own soul, we might bring to mind and pray for all mothers, particularly those who witness and suffer the loss of their children, whether we know them personally or not.