The church celebrates the feast of the presentation of the Lord in the temple today, and also the world day for the consecrated life. Thus, our celebration is twofold. The presentation of the Lord is celebrated 40 days after the celebration of Christmas. It is a celebration that have two important aspects attached to it. The first one is the redemption of the first born according to the Jewish tradition, and the 2nd aspect of the celebration, is the purification of our mother Mary after child birth; according to the Jewish custom. However, both our Mother Mary and our Lord Jesus Christ had to go through this process of purification so to say, in fulfilment of the law; otherwise they have no need for it. Also, the church celebrates the world day of consecrated life. This celebration presents us with the opportunity to appreciate the gift of the consecrated life God has given to his church. Making consecrated people partners in the propagation of the good news of the kingdom. It is an invitation for consecrated men and women to renew their strength in the propagation of the gospel according to the charism’s of each congregation. Making Gods presence alive and active among his people.

The procession into the church with lighted candles by the faithful, is very symbolic and it reminds us of Jesus who is a light to the nation. The encounter in the Temple between the family of Jesus and Simeon and Anna, gives an insight about the life of Jesus. Simeon described in the gospel as a righteous and devout man glorified God for the opportunity to have seen Jesus. He prepares the minds of Joseph and Mary about what awaits them in the future because of the child. Although it was not very clear to the parents of Jesus at that time. All this happened in fulfilment of the prophesy of the prophet Malachi from today’s 1st reading. In the first reading, the prophet Malachi prophesy about the fact that he is going to appear in the Temple and bring about the purification of both his priests and the people and it was fulfilled in the Gospel reading of today. Thus, both Simeon and Anna gave glory to God for having the opportunity to witness the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.

The letter to the Hebrews presents Jesus as the High Priest of the New Covenant who went to Calvary for the sake of mankind. The only pure priestly sacrifice that please God. Jesus decides to be one with us in solidarity, so that he would lead us to God. By so doing sharing in our life and human destiny. Let us therefore resolve to be true partners with God by doing all within our power to ensure that we play our own role to ensure that the going to Calvary by Jesus will not be in vain.

Dear friends in Christ, let us also remember consecrated men and women all over the world in our prayers in a very special way today, that God will grant them the grace to be true instruments of his presence, love, peace, unity and joy in the world. Also, let us pray for increase in the vocation to the consecrated life. It is my prayer that we will all be true instruments of God’s presence among his people. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, Year A, by Fr. Jude Ifezime, C.S.Sp