Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Presentation/Service in the Temple Part I

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on December 8, 2008

Greetings!: This is a continuation of an Advent reflection as seen from the eyes of the Mother of the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Please refer to the first post in this series: INTRODUCTION if you are a first time reader.

ps: Happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception!

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Chapter 4: [emphasis added]

One day, three old priests came from Nazareth to give examination, in order to determine whether [Mary] was worthy of being accepted for service in the Temple…Throughout the examinations, under the guidance and inspiration of her angels, Mary had remained perfectly recollected and serious, and at the same time strikingly beautiful and lovable.

A few days later everyone in St. Joachim’s home was preparing for the trip to Jerusalem. Several fine ceremonial dresses which had been made for Mary were carefully packed up. Finally…at dawn, two donkeys were loaded with baggage, and St. Joachim and St. Anne set out, [with St. Anne] carrying Mary in her arms. The holy child was very happy to be going to the Temple.

On arriving in the Holy City, they were met by a group of friends and children who led them to the house of Zacharias, the priest [and] the future father of John the Baptist, where they were made welcome and given refreshments. Then everyone attended a great reception and feast in an inn which St. Joachim had rented for the occasion, as he wished to spare no expense for this great event.

Early the next morning, St. Joachim took his animal offerings to the Temple with several men, while St. Anne, accompanied by many women and girls, led Mary to God’s House in a beautiful solemn procession through the streets of the Holy City.

She was dressed in a lovely sky-blue robe with garlands of flowers around her arms and neck, and in one hand she carried a candle decorated with flowers. On each side of her were three girls in white with flowers and candles. Then came other girls and women. Everyone who saw them was touched by Mary’s extraordinarily holy appearance.

At the outer entrance to the Temple, they were met by St. Joachim, Zacharias, and several other priests…Mary, in deep humility and adoration offered herself to God. She alone perceived that the Almighty welcomed her and accepted her, for she heard a voice from heaven saying: “Come, My beloved, My spouse, come into My Temple, where I wish thee to offer Me praise and worship.”

With tears in their eyes, her father and mother placed their hands on her head and solemnly pronounced the words by which they gave her to the Lord, while a priest clip a few locks of her hair…Then, after St. Anne and St. Joachim had tenderly blessed her, little Mary, without hesitating and without looking back, began to climb up the fifteen steps. She would not let anyone help her, but with remarkable resolution and dignity, she hastened up all by herself, filled with holy fervor and joy. Everyone who saw her was visibly affected.

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Some personal thoughts and reflection…

She who was to be (and now forever more is) the Ark of the New Covenant – meaning she carried Jesus Christ within her womb as an Ark carried Noah and his family to repopulate the earth.   This “Ark”, Mary,  was now entering into the house of God.  Would Mary have remained as pure if she had spent her years outside of God’s House?  Probably yes.  After all, she was too “full of grace” (Luke 1:28) to be filled with anything less.  But would she have been completely happy?

Probably not.

Being “full of grace”, also means being full of the gifts of heaven.  One can only be satiated and complete when using those graces to the service of the One who gave them.  This is why so many people find dissatisfaction in our world today.  They have been given much from their Creator, but they waste their time and talents on lesser things – money, power, prestige, material possessions. (Mt. 19:16,17b,20-22)The more they gain of these lesser things, the more empty and alone and unsatisfied they feel.  So they try to get more of these things figuring they must not have enough.

Do you know the definition of INSANITY?

: DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN, EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS.

Mary did not believe herself to be worthy of God’s Love.  But she knew the only way she would be completely content and happy would be in the total service to the Lord who gave her these extraordinary gifts.  Imagine how conflicted she must have felt to discover that God’s need for her continued service would in fact be OUTSIDE the Temple walls?  Yet, with her passion to serve God in ALL things, she gave her FULL TRUST to Him whom she loved, knowing without a shadow of doubt, that His Love was more than she could ever imagine!

Do you know that God’s Love is FAR MORE than anyone could ever imagine?

Isn’t it about time to exercise some rationality and stop DOING THE SAME THING EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS?

You and I may not be “full of grace”, but we are just as LOVED as Mary, and we too are just as IMPORTANT to God’s plan of Salvation for all who “have ears to hear” (cf Rev 3:6a), hands and feet for movement, and hearts yearning for LIFE.  He has given us much, why then do we “bury it in the sand”,(cf. Mt 25:14-30)?

Previous Posts:

Anne & Joachim
Nativity (Birth) of Mary
Infancy of Mary

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