Commentary on the Gospel of

Angela Maynard-Creighton University's Student Health

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

I love today’s readings.  Again we get a glimpse of the human side of the Holy Family.

The second reading tells us how Jesus had to ‘become like his brothers and sisters in every way.’  The reading reminds us that Jesus was tested and suffered, therefore he is able to help those who are being tested.  This is kind of a ‘walk a mile in my shoes’ story.  Jesus endured a lot so that he could truly help those who are suffering.

The gospel tells us of Joseph and Mary following the law of the Lord.  They were to go to Jerusalem to present their son to God.  This was required according to the Law of Moses.

When they arrived in Jerusalem they came upon a very holy but elderly Simeon.  According to the Holy Spirit, Simeon would not die until he saw Christ.  Jesus was presented to Simeon by Mary and Joseph.  Simeon took Jesus into his arms saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go 

in peace, according to your word,

for my eyes have seen your salvation,

which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:

a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and glory for your people Israel.” 

Joseph and Mary were amazed by the words of Simeon.  Again, a very human side of the Holy Family.  I imagine they feel like my husband and I when we receive a compliment about one of our children. I imagine Mary and Joseph having some of the same joy, pride, worry and fear for Jesus that every parent has.  Very soon we will be standing with Mary at the cross as she endures the worst nightmare of any parent—the loss of a child.

Let us take some time to reflect on and learn from the most human qualities of the Holy Family and pray for them to watch over and to protect us during times of pride, joy, and worry, and fear.  

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