Presentation of the Lord, Feast


Malachi 3: 1-4
Hebrews 2: 14 -18
Luke 2:22-40


The context from which this feast emerges is the ritual act of presenting baby Jesus in the temple by his parents. This ritual deed and the encounters leading from it evoke mixed feelings. Though the presentation of Jesus brought great joy and satisfaction to Simeon and Anna, it also brought pain to Mary and perhaps Joseph too. The words of Simeon pierced the heart of Mary. It was a hurting moment for Mary to visualize the terrifying future of her son Jesus who would be the cause “for the fall and rising of many”. Simeon and Anna received Jesus with delight, whereas Mary presented him with hidden sorrow.

The presentation scenario itself reflects our own life experiences. As we present our lives (wealth, health, time, talent…) without reserve, we suffer the pain of loss. However, this suffering not only benefits others but also brings renewal within us. This is where we can correlate with the Passionist charism (To keep alive the memory of the passion of Christ). Jesus offering himself freely on the cross for the salvation of the world is the ultimate presentation. Though the obedient presentation of Jesus on the cross liberated us from eternal death, it did not spare him from human suffering. His loss on the cross was our gain. 

May this feast of Presentation awaken our souls to the mixed feelings that we all are bound to experience as we walk in the footsteps of our loving Saviour. As we dare to love, may we always fix our gaze on the Lord that we may find strength in him. 

Mary, Mother of sorrows, pray for us. The passion of Christ heal us

Justin Durai Raj CP is a member of the Passionist community at St. Joseph’s, Hobart.