SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

February 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Feast Days, Liz Estler, Praying Through Art

“Suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek.”[1] Today's feast commemorates Jesus' presentation in the temple by Mary and Joseph, the first time He enters the temple, 40 days after His birth. “Who is this king of glory? The Lord of hosts,”[2] a light to the nations and the glory of Israel.[3]

To celebrate this event fittingly, the Church today blesses candles in this feast which used to be called Candlemas. “The lighted candle is a symbol of the Christian life, of the faith and grace which should shine in our soul…the image of Christ[…]the lighted candle reminds us that we must always bear Christ in us, the source of our life, the author of faith and grace.”[4]

“With the Presentation, Luke's account of the infancy of Jesus comes full circle. The story that began in the Temple with the sacrifice of Zechariah now ends in the Temple with another sacrifice. And just as that first sacrifice was the occasion for prophecy, so is this one. ‘This child is destined for the fall and rise of many' (Lk 2:34); ‘Who will endure the day of his coming?' (Mal 3:2).” [5]

Dear sweet Jesus, just as Simeon was guided by the Spirit, send your Holy Spirit to guide me in offering myself to God through Mary's spotless hands and heart. May I sing your praises as Anna the prophetess did and, by being joined to you, be an instrument for the extension of your saving light and truth right here and right now. Amen.

[1] Micah 3:1b.

[2] Psalm 24:10.

[3] cf Luke 2:32.

[4] Divine Intimacy, Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Baronius Press, London, 2008.

[5] Word of Life: Daily Scripture Companion, Celia Sirois, Pauline Books & Media, Boston, 2008.

Art: Mosaïque d'une des chapelles de la basilique Notre-Dame du Rosaire (niveau inférieur):la Présentation au temple.(Perspective redressée) [Own work, 19 July 2007, Vassil], PD-Worldwide; Wikimedia Commons.

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About Liz Estler

Liz holds a Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts), Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Theology (Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation), Liturgy Certificate (Boston Archdiocese), and a BS degree in Biology and Spanish (Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln). She has served as hospital chaplain associate, sacristan, translator and in other parish ministries. She was a regular columnist for a military newspaper in Europe and has been published in a professional journal. She once waded in the Trevi Fountain!

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