HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE THIRTY-THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. Luke 1:46-49.
Today’s feast calls to mind a very common practice in Christianity today which is the PRESENTATION of children to God. However, in this part of the world, we refer to this practice as “dedication” and we usually do it after the baptism of the infant. In actual the very sacrament of baptism already dedicates the child to God so what we do the following day is no longer dedication but Presentation.
What is Presentation? In essence, to present something is to offer it as a gift to someone else and in this case, to God who we consider to be the source and origin of all life on earth. In other words, when we present children to God, we are giving them back to God publicly, we are in a sense marking them out as special and different from the rest of the world.
The practice of presentation can be traced to the Old Testament. Exodus 13:12 says: “You shall set apart to the LORD all that first opens the womb.” Back then, the idea was to give the child completely to God but since the child was not to be left in the temple, he or she would be bought back (redeemed) by its parent with certain items; a pair of turtledoves and two young pigeons. (Cf. Luke 2:23-24).
Over time, the idea of presentation was no longer seen as exclusive to the first born but to all our children and parents were always instructed to ensure that their children once presented to God are brought up properly to know God, to fear God and live according to his laws.
Today we celebrate the fact that the parents of Mary, Joachim and Anne presented their daughter Mary amidst joy and gladness to God in the temple. And we are called upon to reflect on the fact that we too were presented to God either as little children or as infants and one question we may ask ourselves is: Does my life today reflect that of a person who was presented to God?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, draw me nearer to you. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Feast of the Presentation of Mary. Bible Study: Zechariah 2:10-13 and Matthew 12:46-50).