* Tuesday February 2nd The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple – Nunc Dimittis

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Simeon as played by MMB.

Down in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral, the statue of Mary presents her Child to the pilgrim.

You can see and read about the statue and its sculptor, Mother Concordia OSB of Minster Abbey, here: http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/2014/10/01/our-lady-canterbury/ .

Jesus was in no need of being presented to God, and indeed Mary was well known to her Creator, but they followed faithfully the laws and customs of their Jewish people. Strange to think of Mary or any woman needing purification after giving birth, but that world view knew nothing of modern scientific knowledge and need not detain us.

Consider the Presentation as experienced by Simeon, the just and devout old man who was waiting for the consolation of Israel (Luke 2:25). He cradled Jesus in his arms and prayed aloud: 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 (vv29-32).

All his hopes and prayers, focussed on this little person that somehow he picked out from the crowd! But this was no senile sentimentality; he knew Mary would suffer: thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. (v35) He knew already that Jesus was for all the world, not just Israel.

May we be ready to recognise and speak the truth, and also as ready for death – and heaven! – as Simeon was.

MMB

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1 Comment

Filed under Daily Reflections

One response to “* Tuesday February 2nd The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple – Nunc Dimittis

  1. I think there may be great wisdom in the idea of purifying a woman after childbirth. Not because she is unclean, but because of the spiritual and physical enormity of childbirth – I speak as one who has given birth. A woman becomes in childbirth sheer force of Nature, and when her baby is born will, if she has eyes to see, behold the face of God. Purification in the sense of a spiritual-liturgical recognition and response to such a dramatic irruption of the sacred into the lives of all concerned seems to me a very good idea. Modern science knows nothing of such things.

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