Encounter with God: Christ’s Presentation in the Temple

“The old man was carrying the Child, but the Child was ruling the old man. The Virgin bore him, and after child-bearing remained a virgin: he whom she bore, she adored.” —St. Augustine

”[Simeon] also took [Jesus]into his arms, and blessed God, and said: Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation.” —Lk. 2:28-30

Today is the feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, also called the feast of the Purification of Mary. It marks the end of the Christmas season. On this day, since the Light of the world—Christ—came to the Temple, candles are blessed, hence the English title Candlemas (Mass of Candles).

This feast commemorates the Gospel event wherein Joseph and Mary, as devout Jews, obeyed the law of Moses requiring them to dedicate a firstborn son to God and Mary to be ritually purified in the Temple 40 days after Jesus’s birth. While there, the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) encountered two holy individuals with the gift of prophecy, Simeon and Anna. Through Simeon and Anna, Baby Jesus’s visit to the Temple became a theophany, or a revelation of God. Indeed, one name for this feast among Byzantine Catholics is “the Encounter.” Like Simeon and Anna, we must all encounter Christ and recognize Him as our Savior, our only path to Heaven.

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Posted by CatSalgado32

Catherine Salgado is a columnist for The Rogue Review, a Writer for MRC Free Speech America, and writes her own Substack, Pro Deo et Libertate. She received the Andrew Breitbart MVP award for August 2021 from The Rogue Review for her journalism.

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