“Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple” (detail) by Titian [CC BY 2.0]

A Daily Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass…

“For he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:49)

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple. We do not have an account of this event in Sacred Scripture, but the story and its place in Salvation History have been told from the beginning of the Church.

Mary, who was filled with God’s Grace from the moment of her Immaculate Conception, was the Lord’s in a unique way from the “moment” God first thought of her. More than a mere vessel, Mary was chosen from all time to be the mother of God Incarnate. Consider this fact: Mary is the only mother whose natural son chose her before he was conceived. She is the Mother of God.

Both the Eastern and Western Church celebrate this liturgical feast on November 21. It has been celebrated in the East since the sixth century.

From the Liturgy of the Hours: “In unity with Eastern Christianity, and commemorating the dedication in 543 of the new Basilica of Saint Mary, built next to the Temple at Jerusalem, this feast celebrates Mary’s ‘dedication’ of herself to God from her infancy, inspired by the Holy Spirit, whose grace had filled her ever since her immaculate conception.”

It is fitting that Mary, chosen by God, would choose Him entirely and dedicate herself to Him. This life she chose cooperated with God’s grace and prepared her for the moment when the Archangel Gabriel would announce to her God’s loving invitation to become His Son’s mother.

In a similar way, we are dedicated to God at our baptism. In justice, we owe everything to Him. We exist for Him. Only in Him do we ever find our true purpose and joy.

As we approach the end of the liturgical year and prepare to enter into Advent, let us rededicate ourselves to the Lord. Holy is His Name!

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