The Presentation in the Temple
22When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, [Joseph and Mary] took [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord...
25Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. 26It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. 27He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, 28he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
29“Now, Master, you may let your servant go/ in peace, according to your word,/ 30for my eyes have seen your salvation,/ 31which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,/ 32a light for revelation to the Gentiles,/ and glory for your people Israel.”
33The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 34and 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 35(and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” 36There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, 37and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. ... 38And 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.
39When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Present him to the Lord. Joseph and Mary take Jesus to the Temple to fulfill the law of Moses: “Consecrate to me every first-born that opens the womb among the Israelites, both of man and beast, for it belongs to me” (Ex 13:2). Jesus is thus presented, or offered back, to the Father.
It is said that a child is never given to the parents by God, merely entrusted to their care. We belong to God, the author of life. We come from God, we will return to God. If our life belongs to God, we must live according to God’s will.
What are you offering to the Lord?