Lord, I never wanted to be separated from You.

Sharing the Light

The Feast of the Presentation 
Feb 2, 2011

Counting forward from December 25 as day one, we find that day 40 is February 2. It's the feast day of the Presentation. What is this feast all about?

According to Jewish custom and tradition, a Jewish woman must be in semi-seclusion for 40 days after giving birth to a son, and accordingly it is on February 2 that we celebrate the coming of Mary and Joseph with the baby Jesus to the Temple at Jerusalem. They went there to do two things:
A). to offer sacrifice on behalf of Mary to mark the end of her seclusion (see Lev 12:1-8), and
B). to ransom or redeem (buy back) Jesus as a first-born male (see Ex 13:11-13; 22:29; Num 18:15-16; Dt 15:19). 

Actually, they really don't have to do it. Mary was immaculately conceived and remained a virgin, and Jesus is God; yet out of their obedience to the law and humility, they had submitted themselves to the temple.

From the words of the prophet Simeon, JESUS is "The Light of the world".

At our convent here in Rome, we started the celebration of the mass at the Church. Vested with white stole and chasuble over the habit, we formed two line at the aisle and sang the Latin hymn "Nunc Dimittis" (The Canticle of Simeon). Father Prior (Loic Marie Le Bot) then blessed our lighted candles with holy water before we proceeded to the choir chapel behind the Church. The mass was in Italian and Latin. 

In his homily, Father Prior underscored Jesus as the 'Light of the world' in the words of the prophet Simeon and reminded us that when we receive Jesus, we, too, partake of the light so that we must share this light to others. We all have the capacity to do so if only we put his Words in our hearts.

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