Feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus
First Reading | Malachi 3:1-4
Growing in holiness purifies us from sin and gives us the grace to combat it. This is the refiner’s fire that Malachi speaks of in today’s reading. Let us submit ourselves to this work. Purification will not be pleasant or easy. It will involve making difficult decisions and embracing the struggles that come with battling sin.
1 Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner’s fire, or like the fuller’s lye. 3 He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord. 4 Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord, as in days of old, as in years gone by.
Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 24:7, 8, 9, 10
R: Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
7 Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals that the king of glory may come in! (R) 8 Who is this king of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, mighty in battle. (R) 9 Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals that the king of glory may come in! (R) 10 Who is this king of glory? The Lord of hosts; he is the king of glory. (R)
Second Reading | Hebrews 2:14-18
One of the Cappadocian Fathers, Saint Basil of Caesarea, tells us that human dignity is rooted in our calling to become the likeness of God. We are all called to unite with Jesus and, through this, we become like Him. Let us live in unity with Christ so others may see Him in us. 14 Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who, through fear of death, had been subject to slavery all their life. 16 Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; 17 therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Gospel | Luke 2:22-32 (or Luke 2:22-40)
God’s favor was upon Jesus. Because of this favor, perhaps there’s a growing realization in the mind and heart of Jesus that He was set apart for God’s work. Talking with the elders and chief priests in the Temple is an indication of this (Luke 2:41-51). Jesus is more than a precocious child. Something different about Him will eventually come to the fore.
A light of revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.
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, 23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, 24 and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
25 Now 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. 26 It had been revealed to himby the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. 27 He 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, 28 he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: 29 “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, 30 for my eyes have seen your salvation, 26 which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”