“And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb” (Lk 2:21).
During His ministry, our Lord stated that He came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it (Mt 5:17). In order to fulfill that law, the Lord was circumcised when He was eight days old. As God, He was not bound by any law, but as St. Paul said, was born under the law in order to redeem those who were under the law. In other words, the Lord of the Universe humbly submitted Himself to the Mosaic Law. Scripture tells us that after the days of her purification were complete, according to the laws of Moses, our Blessed Mother Mary and Saint Joseph took the Child Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to present Him to God. As it was written in the law, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord” (Ex 13:2).
The Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple is the celebration of this time when our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself to come and dwell among us, not only fulfilling the Law and Prophets, but also submitting Himself to persecution, torture and death in order to redeem each of us.
The Lord of the universe Who created us all submitted Himself to suffering even unto death for us, yet so many times we are unwilling to go out of our way to help one another. It is good for us, when faced with trials and tribulations or even inconveniences in our daily lives, to reflect on the humility of our God.
“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
How have some of my “secret thoughts” found their way into the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and how has she responded? Consider those sufferings, trials, prayers of petition, and loved ones you have entrusted to her.”
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory! We love and adore You and give you all thanks for Your mercy, kindness and love. Help us dear Lord, to remember Your commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Give us the grace to fulfill Your words, Lord. In Your holy name we pray. Amen.
image: Fra Angelico, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons