Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the great Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which takes place exactly forty days after the beginning of the Christmas season, the fortieth day since the twenty-fifth day of December. Today traditionally marks the end of the Christmas season and celebrations, and in the traditional Roman calendar, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated, when mothers like the Blessed Virgin Mary are welcomed back to the Temple forty days after giving birth.
This day, we celebrate the day when the Lord was presented to the world, especially to the Jewish people, a revelation of God’s salvation to them, represented by the man of God, Simeon and the old prophetess Anna. This is in parallel to what we have celebrated a few weeks earlier in the Solemnity of the Epiphany, marking the revelation of the Christ to the Gentiles through the Three Magi.
In this celebration today, we mark the moment God revealed His salvation to His people, fulfilling the promises He had made to them through His prophets, and we heard of all the things that had happened at that time, how Simeon and Anna both said that the Child would be the great Sign and the Light of God’s salvation to all. The long wait for the promised salvation had therefore been over.
And the Lord Jesus was presented to the Lord at His Temple in accordance with the Law which stated that all the firstborn sons ought to be presented and dedicated to God. This is also especially unique because this Child was none other than the Son of God Himself, Who was therefore in fact, presented to His heavenly Father, dedicated and committed to the mission entrusted in Him for the salvation of the whole world.
The Son of God has revealed Himself to us, showing the love and compassion of God, and we are all called to embrace this love and compassion, and to turn towards Him and looking up to Him, remembering and realising just how fortunate each and every one of us have been to have this loving gift of salvation from God. Thanks to Him, we can have hope once again.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we also celebrate the occasion of the World Day of Consecrated Life, remembering particularly all those who have followed in the Lord’s footsteps by dedicating themselves wholeheartedly in consecrating their lives to God just as the Lord has been presented at the Temple and was consecrated for the mission entrusted to Him.
Those who have been called to the Consecrated Life are those brothers and sisters of ours who committed their lives wholly to God, who desire nothing else but to serve God and glorify Him by their lives. They spent their whole lives living together in faithful communities, either cloistered in the monasteries or living in a community of brothers and sisters dedicated in serving the people of God.
Today all of us thank the Lord for the gift of the dedication of these fellow brothers and sisters of ours, and of course we also show them our appreciation as well. We pray for all of them that they can stay committed in their calling and ministry, in whatever it is that they are doing, through prayers and actions, and we pray that there will be more of those whom God had called who will respond to the call to Consecrated Life and live a holy life befitting of those whom God had called and chosen.
May the Lord continue to guide those whom He had called and chosen, and may He strengthen their faith and give them the courage to persevere through the various challenges in life. May He also awaken in more among us to respond to His call, that more and more men and women may come to join the Consecrated Life, and be inspiration in faith for everyone of us. May God bless us all, now and always. Amen.