Presentation in the Temple

Format for Holy Hour

Context: This Scripture passage that follows could be broken into four parts for meditation. Read each part by itself, beginning with the first, and then spend time reflecting upon each for a short while.

The first part (Luke 2:22–24) speaks of the act of obedience of Joseph and Mary to the Jewish law. Forty days after birth, a male child is to be presented in the temple to the Lord. For those who are poor, they can make an offering of a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons, which is what Mary and Joseph choose to do.

The second part (Luke 2:25–32) presents the person of Simeon who was righteous and devout. God had revealed to him that he would see the Messiah with his own eyes before he died. Thus in these verses, you see Simeon taking the Christ Child and proclaiming his song of praise.

The third part (Luke 2:33–35) continues with Simeon, but in these verses you see Simeon turn his attention to Mary and Joseph, and especially Mary, as he speaks two profound prophecies. First that “this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel.” And second, that Mary’s heart will be pierced through with a sword of sorrow.

The fourth part (Luke 2:36–38) presents the elder prophetess Anna, who worshipped day and night in the temple and, like Simeon, came forward at this time by clear inspiration to give thanks and to witness to Who this Child was.

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:22–38

Reflection: Ponder the humility of Mary and Joseph as they offered the pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons, rather than a lamb. (Silent Reflection)

But a Lamb was offered. This Child was the Lamb of God. God was offered to God. (Silent Reflection)

Read verses 25–32 over and over. Imagine the anticipation of this moment. Simeon had looked forward to it throughout his life. It was the central and most important moment of his life. After welcoming the Christ Child, he was ready to “go in peace.” He had no other reason to live. His life mission was complete. Ponder this man, Simeon. (Silent Reflection)

Ponder also how Simeon turned to Jesus’ mother and said, “…a sword will pierce through your own soul also.” What did our Blessed Mother think as she heard this? What did she feel? (Silent Reflection)

Imagine Anna. “She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.” Anna was holy. Her life was consumed by worship of God. She was elderly. And now she saw, with her own eyes, the God whom she worshipped day and night. (Silent Reflection)

Introduction to Meditations for the Christmas Season

  1. Birth of the Savior of the World
  2. Humble Shepherds
  3. Presentation in the Temple
  4. Magi
  5. Flight into Egypt, Massacre of Holy Innocents
  6. Hidden Life, Finding in the Temple

Featured Image: Lodovico Carracci – Presentation in the Temple

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