Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

The Presentation of the Lord

Greetings!: This is a continuation of an Advent reflection as seen from the eyes of the Mother of the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  With Advent over and Lent and Easter approaching, I will continue the Seen Through the Eyes of the Mother series beginning with the Presentation of the Babe, Jesus.  If you are a first time reader, please refer to the first post in this series: INTRODUCTIONEnjoy!

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The Presentation of the Lord

After the departure of the Magi,… [Mary and Joseph] divided the gifts into three parts: one for the Temple (the incense and myrrh and some of the gold), another for the priest who had circumcised the Child, and the rest for the poor.

A devout woman whom Mary had helped urged the Holy to move into her modest home, and they humbly accepted her invitation. Sadly they took leave of the holy stable after cleaning it thoroughly.

During the days that remained before the Purification, when alone with His beloved mother, the Infant Jesus often murmured to her:  “My Dove, My Chosen One, My dearest Mother, make thyself like unto Me!”

When the fortieth day after the Nativity drew near, the Immaculate Mother of God did not hesitate to subject herself to the general Hebrew Law requiring the purification of mothers and the presentation of first-born sons in the Temple at Jerusalem.

Consequently Mary and Joseph gratefully took leave of the good woman who had sheltered them, and went with Jesus to the cave of the Nativity for a last visit. [Gently placing] the Christ Child on the ground at the very spot where He was born, they both knelt and prayed … together, and they did the same where He was circumcised.

Then, as usual before a journey, Mary asked her husband for his blessing,…

Prostrating herself on the ground for the last time grotto of the Nativity, with all her heart Mary thank the Infant Jesus for the marvelous blessings which He had given to Joseph and herself and to all mankind in the stable at Bethlehem, and she prayed to God that this holy place might always be revered by [all God’s people].

Rising to her feet, she covered herself with her cloak and took her Baby into her arms, pressing Him to her… to protect Him from the cold winter wind. Then, after the God had visibly given them His blessing, Joseph and Mary set out for Jerusalem, accompanied by a donkey bearing their few belongings and the gifts for the Temple.

During the five-mile journey, the weather was unusually severe. Cold, sleety winds made the Child Jesus shiver and weep.

Toward evening… the Holy Family reached the city gate of Jerusalem and found a welcome lodging in the humble home of a devout old couple… [At] Mary’s suggestion, St. Joseph went alone to the Temple and made an anonymous donation of the myrrh, incense, and gold in order to avoid any ostentation of wealth at the ceremony the following day.  [Meanwhile], the holy Mother of God spent the night before the Purification in fervent prayer…

That night, the holy man Simeon, a very old and thin priest with a short beard, was kneeling at prayer in a tiny cell of the great Temple in Jerusalem. The Holy [Spirit], who dwelt in him, had already revealed to him that he was not to die until he had seen the promised Messiah.  

Now while he was praying… an angel appeared to him and told him to observe carefully the first child presented to the priests… for that child would be the Savior of the world for whom he longed so much.

The holy matron Anna was likewise was favored with a concerning the Purification, and she rejoiced greatly, because she had been one of Mary’s teachers during her stay in the Temple as a girl.

Before dawn the Holy Family left their lodging in Jerusalem and went to the Temple… At the entrance of the Women’s Court, Mary knelt and humbly presented herself to God with His Son in her arms… [Meanwhile, the] simple and devout old priest Simeon, who had waiting for several hours already, could no longer restrain his impatience. Moved by the Holy Spirit, he went to meet his Lord, and in the hallway he caught sight of both Mother and Child surrounded by a wonderful light.

After saying a few words to Mary, with the greatest joy he took the Child into his arms and pressed Him to his heart. Then he quietly withdrew into another part of the building, while Mary was led by a woman to the Temple Court. St. Joseph had given the basket with the two turtledoves to Anna and then passed through another door to the Men’s section.

The whole Temple now seemed to be filled with a heavenly light. Almighty God was present there and above the Child the heavens seemed to open before the throne of the Holy Trinity… One of the priests took up the Child, raised Him toward heaven and turned to Simeon, who placed Him in the Virgin’s arms and recited over them both some prayers from a rolled manuscript. Then Simeon led Mary back to Anna. After these ceremonies were over, Simeon came to Mary and received the Infant Jesus from her hands.

Then, raising his eyes to heaven… he offered the Child to the Eternal Father, glorifying God for having fulfilled [His] promises, and saying: Thou dismiss Thy servant, O Lord according to Thy word, in peace: because my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou has prepared before the face of all people.  A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory for Thy people Israel.”

St. Joseph had come to join Mary… Simeon blessed them both. Then addressing himself to Mary… he added:  “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

…the Child Jesus bowed His head, thereby ratifying the prophecy and accepting it as the sentence of the eternal Father pronounced by His minister. All this was understood by Mary, and she began to feel sorrow… All these things remained indelibly impressed on her memory.

Anna the Prophetess was also inspired and proclaimed the Child’s Mother blessed… Not long afterward both Simeon and Anna passed away in peace.

Then with St. Joseph and her divine Child, [they] returned to [their] lodging.

THE BLESSED VIRGIN SAID TO ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN:

” I did not need purification, like other women, because my Son who was born of me, made me clean. Nevertheless, that the Law and the prophecies might be fulfilled, I chose to live according to the Law. Nor did I live like worldly parents, but… conversed with the humble.  Nor did I wish to show anything extraordinary in me, but loved whatever was humble… that day (of the Purification) my pain was increased… by divine inspiration I knew that my Son was to suffer, yet this grief pierced my heart more keenly at Simeon’s words…Let not this grief leave thy heart, for without tribulation few reach heaven.”

No Rapture, folks…

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” ~ Psalm 27:1

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