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Homily

MARY AND JOSEPH TOOK JESUS UP TO JERUSALEM TO PRESENT HIM TO THE LORD.
By Augustine Agwulonu
Tue, 02 Feb 2016

"MARY AND JOSEPH TOOK JESUS UP TO JERUSALEM TO PRESENT HIM TO THE LORD." (Luke 2:22).

The reason advanced for this gesture is to fulfill the requirement of the law. But are there any other benefits to Jesus, Mary and Joseph for presenting Jesus in the temple? Was it necessary to involve Jesus and his parents in the purification's legal prescriptions?

We observe that the Holy Family carried out a pure act of obedience by presenting Jesus in the temple. They demonstrated their humble allegiance to God. They show that they are ready and willing to fulfill God's law's demand. The benefit was not exclusive to the Holy Family. The Holy Family gladly did this act of gratitude. This is the truest case of God's first Born being given to and for the benefit of human beings. The presentation of Jesus in the temple is a most noble feast of thanksgiving to God for his merciful love, which sent us so great a redeemer.

Ordinarily, neither Mary nor Jesus needed any purification that was associated with birth. This is because of the way Jesus was conceived and Mary's fullness of grace. But the Holy Family represented the entire families of the world, especially those that recognize their origin from God and also acknowledge what marvels The Lord has done for them by sending them Jesus Christ. The Holy Family demonstrated its most loving solidarity with all the families on earth.

The narrative about Jesus' presentation only cited the legal prescription for the presentation of any male child. However, it exposed two peculiarities of this presentation, namely the Simeon and Hanna dimensions to the event. In other words, Jesus' presentation in the temple was an event in fulfillment of God's promise to Simeon that he would not die until he had seen the savior. It was also an event of a special reward to Hanna for her dedicated service to The Lord in the temple.

The presentation of Jesus in the temple is like a public and liturgical celebration of the in-breaking universal salvation, which Jesus brought to humanity and to the world. Jesus is revealed in this passage, by Luke, as the light, not only to Israel, but also to the Gentiles. Thus Simeon sang about this divine intervention in human history, and Hanna praised God for his faithfulness. Simeon prophesied about Jesus and Mary, while Hanna preached Jesus. She was the first woman to preach Jesus.

As we celebrate the presentation of Jesus in the temple, we are most grateful to God for consoling us with the sending and presence of his Son. We thank him for his faithfulness. The events at Jesus's presentation teaches us that God's promise never expires. It might take long for it to be fulfilled, but it will surely come to pass. God shall surely reward those who serve him in faith and holiness. This is the pragmatic lesson, which Luke teaches us in this passage with the cases of Simeon and Hanna.

 

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