Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day, we celebrate together a great feast in the memory and in honour of our Lord Jesus and His presentation at the Temple of God in Jerusalem, on the eighth day after His birth just as the Law of God had prescribed it, a compulsory matter for all the firstborn sons of Israel, just as Jesus is the Firstborn Son of Mary.
He was presented at the Temple, as a sign to all the peoples, revealed to the nation of Israel and to all others, that the Messiah of the Lord had come into the world. The servant of God, Simeon and the prophetess Anna also ensured that His coming into this world was known, and that His future good works would be known and expected by the people of God.
The expression and actions of the servant of God, Simeon showed us the kind of anxiety, the expectation and the hope that mankind had placed in the awaiting process for the coming of the Messiah. The people of God had expected the coming of God’s Messiah for a long time, and they have long awaited for His coming into the world in order to rescue them from their fated destruction.
And today’s celebration is so significant because of that fact, as the Lord today in truth, He was not just presented and consecrated to God on that day as all the firstborn of Israel were consecrated to God, but in that same way, God also presented His own Son to us, to be our Deliverer and Saviour from all of our troubles, from our fate of encountering and facing destruction in hell.
Do we remember the passage from the Holy Scriptures regarding Abraham and his son, Isaac? The promised son whom God had promised Abraham? That through that son, he would have his descendants to rule over the nations and to have them as many as the stars in the sky and as many as the grains of sand on the seashore? Then, we have to remember about the time when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his own beloved son to Him as a sacrificial offering.
Anyone would have refused to do so, and they would have doubted and complained against God and His seemingly wicked request to sacrifice one’s own son, all the more that, that very son was the one whom God Himself had promised to be the son awaited for a long time by the childless Abraham and Sarah, and through whom God had promised that many nations would be his children.
But Abraham remained faithful and true to the Lord, and despite how sad that must have been for him, he went on and brought his son, Isaac to the mountain of Moria where he would sacrifice him to the Lord as He had wished for. But God was only testing Abraham for his faith, whether he would remain in faith and keep strong in his faith despite that kind of horrendous request, or whether he would sway and leave the Lord behind.
For his faith, God rewarded Abraham greatly, and He fulfilled all the promises which He had made to him, and then, interestingly, it was in the same way as Abraham had acted, that God Himself through His action made all of His promises to all mankind fulfilled in all of its perfection. It was through Jesus His Son, that God made everything whole once again.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, just as Abraham did not hold back his own son from God, neither did God hold back His own Son, His own Precious Word, from us, as He gave Jesus, to be our Deliverer, our Saviour and our Hope, through none else but another sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice of God Who loves all of His people, His beloved children, that He willingly offered Himself as the perfect and loving sacrifice on the altar of the cross.
This is the joy of the nations that the prophet and servant of God Simeon had foretold as how it would happen to the people of Israel and for the rest of the world. It was through the hard work and the toils and labours of our Lord Himself, that through His hard effort, that we all mankind, who have been scattered in the darkness by our sins, would be gathered together again and receive God’s blessings and grace.
Thus, today, as we commemorate this great feast of the Presentation of our Lord, just as we receive God’s rich and wonderful offering of His own Son, to be our Lord, Saviour, Redeemer and Hope, then let us all dedicate ourselves to Him all the more, commit ourselves to Him in love and in all of our actions and deeds, so that in everything that we do and say, we may always bring glory to Him, and help to gather more of our scattered brethren unto Him.
Let us also pray for all of those who have dedicated their whole lives to God, our religious brothers and sisters, and even more those who have committed themselves to the sacred priesthood and the episcopate, dedicating and committing their whole lives to serve the people of God. Let us pray that God will keep them faithful and dedicated in their service. And may God bless us all, now and forever. Amen.