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Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Lectionary: 524

Reading 1 - Mal 3:1-4

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. 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. 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. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the LORD, as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

Responsorial Psalm - Ps 24:7, 8, 9, 10

R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals that the king of glory may come in! R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Who is this king of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle. R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals that the king of glory may come in! R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! Who is this king of glory? The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory. R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

Reading 2 - Heb 2:14-18

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, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; 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. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Gospel - Lk 2:22-40

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, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, 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. 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. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. 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, he took him into his arms and blessed God, 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.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and 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 —and you yourself a sword will pierce— so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There 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, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And 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. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

FOCUS QUESTIONS - PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

If you would like to receive these questions each week, please send your email address to Father Tom Hickey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note: These questions are for reflection and discussion, if you choose. Please understand that the homily may not address any of these questions directly. God speaks to hearts that are prepared.

1.The first reading foretold a day when suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek. Try to imagine the various ways people might have thought this would be accomplished. Is the Feast we celebrate this Sunday the fulfillment? (see the Gospel) Do you think anyone expected it to be fulfilled in this manner?

2.What warning does Malachi offer about the day when this is fulfilled? What is a refiner’s fire? What do you think it means here?

3.Why do you think the Psalm asks Who is the king of glory? Wouldn’t the king of glory be recognized? Was Jesus recognized as the king of glory? Do we recognize Him as the king of glory? Could we do better?

4.What is the image that tomes to mind when you hear the words Lift up, O gates, your lintels; reach up, you ancient portals? Are the gates too small? Are these literal gates? Does this take place in heaven or on earth?

5.The Church teaches that Jesus is the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament sacrifices as both victim and priest. He both the animal sacrificed and one who makes the sacrifice. Pick out the words in the second reading that portray Jesus as the victim and the words that portray Him as the priest. Do you relate to Jesus more as the victim or as the priest?

6.From the second reading, explain why Jesus had to be like us in every way.

7.In the Gospel, Mary and Joseph fulfill all the purification rites of the Law of Moses regarding a new child. Neither Jesus nor Mary needed purification. Why do you think they did it?

8.Simeon says my eyes have seen your salvation. What did he actually see? How can he say that he has seen the Lord’s salvation? Are we in a similar position when we see the Eucharist? Do we see the Lord’s salvation? Should we?

9.Simeon said that the child he held in his arms was destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel. Who was going to fall? Who was going to rise? Why do some have to fall in order to bring salvation? What was the sword that would pierce the heart of Mary? Is her heart still pierced with that sword?

10.What has God spoken to you, and what do you intend to do about it?

Mass Schedule

Weekend Masses
Saturday Vigil, 4:00 PM;
Sunday, 8:30 & 10:30 AM
Daily Mass
Monday-Thursday; 8:00 AM Rectory Chapel

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday: 3:00-3:30 PM Church