Today is 40 days after Christmas! Today we celebrate the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Also known as Candle Mass. Christ the Light of the World was brought into the Temple, the Light that gets rid of the darkness of evil. Candles remind of us Christ our Light. So on this day we bless the Candles to be used in church and in our homes for prayer throughout the year.
Reading 1MAL 3:1-4
Thus says the Lord GOD:
Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in the days of old, as in years gone by.
GospelLK 2:22-40 OR 2:22-32
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
–and you yourself a sword will pierce–
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Tonight also in the Diocese of Grand Island was the Mass for Consecrated Life. It was a beautiful Mass!