Presentation of the Lord

presentation of the LordIn the fourth joyous mystery we see the child Jesus being presented in the Temple as required by Jewish law. The first born son is brought to the Temple on the fourtieth day after birth to present him to the Lord. When Joseph and Mary bring the child Jesus to the Temple as proscribed, a prophetess named Anna and a man by the name of Simeon both recognized God’s anointed. It occurred to me today that the Presentation meant more than just presenting the child to the Jews. Jesus was meant for all of us – Gentiles and Jews alike. Although few people knew what as happening, God was announcing to the whole world that here was His Son, who had come just as had been promised. What a gracious and loving God!


According to Jewish law, the firstborn male child belonged to God, and the parents had to “buy him back” on the 40th day after his birth, by offering a sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24) in the temple (thus the “presentation” of the child). On that same day, the mother would be ritually purified (thus the “purification”).

Saint Mary and Saint Joseph kept this law, even though, since Saint Mary remained a virgin after the birth of Christ, she would not have had to go through ritual purification. In his gospel, Luke recounts the story (Luke 2:22-39).Simeon

When Christ was presented in the temple, “there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel” (Luke 2:25) When Saint Mary and Saint Joseph brought Christ to the temple, Simeon embraced the Child and prayed the Canticle of Simeon: “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; because my eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: a light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).