Thought for the Day – 2 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Purification of Our Lady
“Today, the Church commemorates the Presentatio of the Child Jesus in the temple ad the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These ceremonies were carried out, in order to comply with a twofold Mosaic law. One part of this law referred to women who had become mothers; the other pat was concerned with first-born male children. According to the first law, a mother was officially regarded as impure for forty days after she had given birth to a child. When this period was over, she had to present herself in the temple and make an offering of a lamb and a turtledove. If she were poor, she could substitute a second young pigeon for the lamb (Cf Lev 12). The second law (Cf Es 13:2, 34:19; Num 8:16; Lev 27:26) commanded the mother to offer and consecrate to God, her first-born son. She was to do this in memory of the miracle in Egypt when the Angel of God destroyed all the first-born sons of the people of the country and spared those of the Israelites. In later times, when the ritual worship of God became the special obligation of the tribe of Levi, the first-born sons of the other tribes, had to be presented in the temple and bought back by an offering.
It is quite clear, that Jesus and Mary were not bound by this twofold law. But they voluntarily subjected themselves to it, in order to give an example of humility and obedience.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 February – The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of the Lord
“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 ..…”
“We must be burning with love and radiant with good deeds and so take up Christ in our hands with Simeon. Could anyone hold up a lighted candle in his hands on this day, without at once remembering that old man, who on this same day, took up in his arms Jesus, God’s Word, clothed in flesh like a candle-flame clothed in wax and affirmed Him to be “the Light which would be a beacon for the Gentiles.”
Bl Guerric of Igny O.Cist (c 1080-1157)
“She, the holy Mother of God, must go to the Temple like other Hebrew mothers, as though she had lost something, which needed restoring by a legal sacrifice. He, that is the Son of God and Son of Man, must be treated in all things, as though He were a servant and be ransomed in common. with the poorest Jewish boy. Mary adores the will of God and embraces it with her whole heart. … She was in the Temple of Jerusalem, what she was in the house of Nazareth, when she received the Archangel’s visit; she was the Handmaid of the Lord.”
Servant of God Abbot Prosper Guéranger (1805-1875)
Our Morning Offering – 2 February – The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin and the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple
Prayer for the Feast By Servant of God Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)
O Blessed Mother, the sword is already in your heart. You foreknow the future of the Fruit of your womb. May our fidelity in following Him, through the coming mysteries, of His public life bring some alleviations to the sorrows of your maternal heart. Amen
Feast of the Purification of Our Lady, the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple – Candlemas Day – 2 February
Besides commemorating the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, this day has another meaning, for it is called Candlemas Day. The candle is one of the most widely used sacramentals in the Church; one blessed in a special Mass.
We use candles at Baptism, at Mass and other church devotions, at the Ordination of a Priest, the Consecration of a Bishop, at Easter, at Christmas to signify the coming of Christ. Two blessed candles should be in every home, to use in times of sickness, death, storms and calamities.
In the blessing of candles, the Church reminds us, that the candles signify light; they are blessed for the service of mankind, for health of body and soul, for those who desire to carry them in their hands with honour. Christ, the true Light and Fire of Charity, is asked to bless these candle,; to dispel the darkness of night, to free us from the blindness of vice and to discern what is pleasing to Him and profitable for our salvation.
On the Feast of Mary’s Purification, we greet her with lighted candles – shining with faith and understanding, burning with love and zeal, as Sion welcomed Christ the King; today we go to Christ through Mary, to Christ, the new Light that gives Faith, Hope and Charity to us all.
The two-fold Jewish rites, to which the Holy Family submitted on this occasion, were the legal purifying of the mother after childbirth and the offering of the first-born male child to the Lord. They showed reverence for the Father’s Law, by fulfilling its obligations and so, the Mother submitted to the Purification in all humility.
Angels beheld in wondering awe, what was the greatest event the Temple had ever witnessed. It was nothing less than the second coming of the Lord to His Temple, which the prophets had foretold. At the Presentation, God the Son made Man, took possession of the Temple built for His Father’s glory and so, ratified the worship which is offered to God in sacred courts, churches.
This simple ceremony is the link between the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption; here the Saviour renews the oblation of Himself; “Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not but a body Thou hast fitted to me. Then, I said: “Behold, I come: in the head of the book it is written of me, that I should do Thy will, O God.”
Jesus really begins His Passion in this mystery of the Presentation and so, too, Mary begins her dolors. It is by Mary’s hands, that Jesus makes the oblation, which is the prelude to His Sacrifice. We honour the Presentation among the Joyful Mysteries but it is also, first in place among Mary’s Sorrows.
Simeon enlightened by the Holy Spirit, understood the mystery and so, too, did Mary. After his first transports of joy at seeing the Messiah, he blessed them and said to His Mother, “Behold this Child is set for the fall and the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted and thy own soul, a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”
This prophecy reminds us, that Mary is always to be associated with the destiny of Jesus, the one solitary partner of His lot, singled out to suffer with Him. Heresies that pierced the Son have trans-pierced the Mother. The early Church guarded the doctrines of Jesus by defining Mary’s titles; today, those who repudiate the honour of Mary, turn from the Son also; in the mind of satan as in the mind of the Church, the honour of Son and Mother go together.
The Church of Jerusalem was the first to celebrate this Feast. On this day, also, a procession was held to the Constantinian basilica. The Armenians still keep the day on 14 February and call it “The Coming of the Son of God into the Temple.” The Greeks called it “Hypapante” the meeting of the Child Jesus and His Mother with Simeon and Anna in to Temple.
This Feast reminds us how intimately Mary is associated with her Son in the work of Redemption. We welcome Her Child to our hearts with love and faith, we bless the Mother, too, for she had “not spared her life by reason of the distress and tribulation of her people but has prevented our ruin, in the presence of our God.”
Thought for the Day – 6 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Joyful Mystery The Purification of Our Lady and The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple
“Since the fall of our first parents, human mothers have carried in their wombs, souls dead to grace and have given birth to children stained with sin. Therefore, it is necessary for the waters of Baptism to confer on these infants, a second life, the supernatural life. A ceremony of purification is also required for these mothers, a rite which was of obligation under the Old Law but, under the New Law, remains only as a pious custom.
The Blessed Virgin was not subject to the rule of sin. By a special privilege, she was preserved free from the stain of original sin and was created and conceived in the fullness of grace. Moreover, she became a mother, not by any human agency but, by the power of the Holy Spirit, which preserved intact, her angelic virginity. For this reason, Mary was not bound by the Mosaic Law which laid down the ceremony of purification as necessary for all mothers. Nevertheless, in order to give us an example of humility and of absolute obedience to the law of God, she chose to fulfil this sacred rite.
How well do we comply with the law of God, with the precepts of the Church and with the commands of our superiors who represent divine authority? Perhaps we can excuse ourselves too easily from our obligations. Perhaps we are not sufficiently ready to give good example to others. We may evade the sacrifices which our duty demands of us, or we may fail to see God in the person who gives us our instructions.
Let us learn from the Blessed Virgin. Even when she was not obliged to do so, she obeyed the law and gave us a wonderful example of humility and submission to Almighty God.”
Marian Thoughts – 17 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C
Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary
“Praying the Rosary together as a family, s very beautiful and it gives us strength.”
The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation
Forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Lord who enters the temple and comes to encounter His people.
In the Christian East, this feast is called the “Fest of Encounter” – it is the encounter between God, who became a child, to bring newness to the world and an expectant humanity, represented by the elderly man and woman in the Temple.
In the Temple, there is also an encounter between two couples – the young Mary and Joseph and the elderly Simeon and Anna. The old receive from the young, while the young draw upon the old. In the Temple, Mary and Joseph find the roots of their people. This is important, because God’s promise does not come to fulfilment, merely in individuals, once for all but within a community and throughout history. There too, Mary and Joseph find the roots of their faith, for faith is not something learned from a book but the art of living with God, learned from the experience of those who have gone before us. The two young people, in meeting the two older people, thus find themselves. And the two older people, nearing the end of their days, receive Jesus, the meaning of their lives. This event, fulfils the prophecy of Joel: “Your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions” (2:28).
In this encounter, the young see their mission and the elderly realise their dreams.
All because, at the centre of the encounter, is Jesus … May we never look at the screen of our cell phone more than the eyes of our brothers or sisters or focus more on our software, than on the Lord….Pope Francis 2018