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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

February 2nd: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

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Gospel text (Lk 2:22-40): When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (…).

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel (…). Simeon (…) blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce(…)."

There was also a prophetess, Anna (…). And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem (…).

The Presentation of the Lord in the Temple

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, forty days after Christmas, Mary and Joseph take the Child Jesus to the Temple, to present him to the Lord. Inspired by God, Simeon and Anna recognize in Jesus the Messiah awaited by Israel and prophesy about him. In this mystery —simple and solemn— the Church celebrates Christ, the Anointed by the Father, the firstborn of the new mankind.

The Holy Family accomplishes the prescriptions of the Law: the mother’s purification, the firstborn’ consecration to the Lord and his rescue through a sacrifice. The “Messenger of the Covenant” enters into his own house and submits himself to the Law; He goes to Jerusalem to enter —in obedience— into the Lord’s house; He comes as the new High Priest —compassionate and faithful— to atone for the sins of mankind. Being still a child He starts to follow the obedience path, which He will go through to its ultimate consequences.

—Mary hears that a “sword” of pain will pierce her soul; her mission was not completed with the Incarnation, will rather be concluded with her loving participation in the death of the Son.