Based on the MFEP's third goal - listen and educate in faith: On February 2, let us pray and reflect on the Feast of the Presentation of Christ Jesus in the Temple. In Marianist history, we celebrate the Anniversary of the First Lay Marianist Consecration in 1801 on this day.
On Feb 2, we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of Christ Jesus in the Temple. This event occurs in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2. Mary and Joseph brought their child, Jesus, to the Temple to offer him to God in obedience to the law. On this day in Marianist history, in 1801, the first 12 members of the Bordeaux Sodality committed to forming the first Marianist Lay community. These earliest Lay Marianists professed their Act of Consecration and named their community “Congregation of the Immaculate Conception.” This day is also the World Day of Consecrated Life in the Church.
Prayer Prayer adapted from The Marianist Family Prayer Book
God of Light, Your Son, shared in our flesh and blood and built us into a living temple where you might dwell. Like Simeon and Anna, our eyes behold your salvation. Guide us by the Holy Spirit to welcome Christ as the light of all peoples. May Christ shine in through the darkness of wars and conflicts across humanity today and bring his peace to all hearts. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.
Scripture Reading Luke 2: 22-38, RSVCE
And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “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.” And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan′u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Silent Introspection The Chaminade Legacy, Vol 3, 48-49
Let us silently reflect on this text from the sermon of Blessed Father Chaminade on the Presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple:
…why turn our eyes away from the model Mary offers us…
Whatever age we may be, let us offer ourselves today to the Lord. May Mary, who presented Jesus, her divine Son, to the Lord, present us on this day, we who take pride in the fact that we are her children…
Personal/Group Reflection “The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord,” vatican.va
How does the feast of the Presentation of Christ Jesus in the Temple inspire me?
On this feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, we thank the Lord for the gift of the consecrated life, and together with Simeon and Anna, we contemplate the Divine Christ child, the Word Incarnate, who is brought to the Temple: The Temple of our heart.
May the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen.
Would you like to use the above-mentioned reflection in your community? Click here to download the pdf.
Image: Presentation of Christ at the Temple, c.1304-1306, Giotto
Reflection prepared by Hazel Franco