Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

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Lectionary: 524
Read the Gospel: Luke 2:22-40

Gospel Summary
In today’s Gospel we read that Mary and Joseph honored God’s law by taking Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem in order to present him to the Lord. There we encounter Simeon, a man of great faith who believed in God’s promise that he would see the Christ of the Lord before he died. We are also introduced to the prophetess Anna, who worshiped in the Temple day and night. Following the presentation, the Holy Family returned to Nazareth in Galilee, where Jesus grew and became strong.

Reflection for Parents
As parents we can appreciate the way that Mary and Joseph honored God’s law by presenting Jesus in the Temple. Most of us have presented our own children for Baptism in our own parish churches. These are important events in the journey of faith. But the very end of today’s Gospel, which speaks of the return to Nazareth where the child Jesus continued to grow, reminds us that it is in the days after and in-between such events that faith is lived out, learned, and strengthened in daily family life. What we say and do in the ordinary moments of ordinary days together helps shape who our children will become.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family
Recall Simeon and Anna, two elderly people of faith who are introduced in today’s Gospel passage. Help your children recall the elderly members of your family and their ancestors who kept the faith throughout the ages. Show your children pictures of these faithful women and men, and share what you know about them. If you have kept a family tree in your Bible, review it with your children. As an alternative, create together a family tree that allows space for drawings, photographs, short stories, and the names of your ancestors in faith. Place this family tree in a place where all family members can see it and add to it.

Discussion Starters
In place of discussion starters today, invite your family to take part in the following suggested prayer and action.

  1. Prayer: Make a list of all of the elderly members of your family and their ancestors whose names were mentioned today. Read the names one at a time, inviting family members to respond, “Pray for us.”
  2. Action: As a family, think about an elderly family member, neighbor, or friend in need of special help or care. Decide on an action you can take as a family to help the person who comes to mind. Make a plan to take action within the next week.