Thursday, 21 November 2019 : 33rd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we celebrate together the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. On this occasion we recall the moment when Mary as she was presented to God at the Temple of God in Jerusalem at the time of her birth. On this day we commemorate that moment when Joachim and Anna, Mary’s parents brought her before God and dedicated her to the Lord.

And on this day therefore, we remember how at that time, the Lord has chosen Mary to be the instrument of His salvation and work in delivering all of His people from their fated destruction. The Lord has made her to be special, the Immaculate Conception, free by the grace and will of God from all the taints and bonds of original sin, so that she would be worthy of becoming the Vessel of God’s Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

On that day, Mary was presented to the Lord, offered to Him and dedicated to Him, to the holy and yet challenging life that she would have to endure and go through. That was the beginning of the mission which Mary was to take up, as eventually the Archangel Gabriel came to her and revealed to her the Good News of God’s salvation. And it was then that Mary accepted her role fully and obeyed God’s will perfectly.

By what Mary had done, through her dedication and commitment to the Lord, her thorough obedience to the will of God even if that meant suffering and pain for her, especially when she had to see her own Son, Our Lord and Saviour being rejected, humiliated and condemned to die by the leaders and elders of her own people, we can see what being a true Christian is all about, in giving her all for the sake of the Lord.

That was what the Lord Jesus Himself had said in our Gospel passage today, when He spoke of how those who obey the will of God and followed His commandments faithfully are those whom He considered to be His mother, His brothers and His sisters, essentially to be part of His own beloved family. And He made this remark not out of disrespect of His mother, unlike what some would have misunderstood, but rather, in fact, He highlighted His mother’s own virtues and good examples.

It is what each and every one of us are therefore called to do today as we recall the memory of the Presentation of Mary, the Blessed Mother of our Lord and God. The Lord is calling on us to follow His mother’s own good examples, her purity and her faith, her commitment to the Lord’s wishes and her total obedience and surrender in allowing herself to be the instrument through which God made evident and real His salvation.

Mary is indeed our perfect role model, the one whom we should look up to in how we should live up to our lives. She is the bright star of faith that we should be following as the saying goes indeed, ‘to the Lord Jesus through Mary, His mother’. By following Mary, all of us can find our path towards the Lord better, even amidst the many challenges, obstacles and trials that we may have to face in this journey of faith.

Let us all, brothers and sisters in Christ, dedicate and present ourselves before the Lord, and let us all grow ever stronger in our faith in Him, in the love which we all should have for Him and in the hope that we should always put in Him. Let us all be ever more courageous in living our lives with genuine faith and may God continue to bless us all, now and always, forevermore. Amen.

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