THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (FEAST DAY)
. . a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.
Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation, the day when Mary and Joseph brought their son to the Temple in Jerusalem and dedicated him to God. In some parts of the world, this feast is also known as Candlemas. Candles are blessed at Mass, and there are often candlelight processions, to proclaim that Jesus is the “light for revelation to the Gentiles” (Luke 2:32).
The Gospel for today tells us how Simeon recognized Jesus as the light to the Gentiles and the Messiah who would save Israel. And that recognition caused him to erupt in praise to God.
Simeon’s prayer (Luke 2:29-32), called the Nunc Dimittis, is a cherished prayer in the Church’s Liturgy of the Hours. It’s a song of thanksgiving and praise to God for his faithfulness in sending his Son. Simeon had prayed and waited for many years to see God’s salvation. And then, it happened! Finally, he saw Jesus, the Messiah, enter the Temple. Finally, he knew that God had fulfilled his promise. He rejoiced that through Jesus, God’s salvation would “reach to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). Finally, he could die in peace.
We, too, can rejoice because God’s salvation has reached us! It’s a good day to give thanks and praise to God, just as Simeon did. It’s a good day to remember our baptism, when Jesus shone his light into our hearts. It’s a good day to light a candle and rejoice that Jesus the Light has come to us—and to all the world. And it’s a good day to let that light of Christ shine to the people around us.
Let’s join our voices with Simeon and praise God for sending Jesus! He is the true light that enlightens all people.
“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” (Luke 2:29-32).
WORD AMONG US