The Solemnity of the Purification
2 February 2014
“Now, O Lord, thou dost dismiss thy servant in Peace, because my eyes have seen the Salvation, which thou has prepared—a Light that is to enlighten the Gentiles, and give glory to thy people Israel.” Lk. 2:29
“The Servant of God, Fr. Gabriel of St. Magdalen, in his book of meditations, Divine Intimacy, comments on today’s feast: “Today’s Feast, which marks the end of the Christmas season is a feast both of Jesus and of Mary: of Jesus, because He is presented by His Mother in the Temple forty days after His birth, according to the requirement of the law; of Mary because she submits herself to the rite of purification.
“The liturgy celebrates, primarily, the entrance for the first time of the Infant Jesus into the Temple: ‘Behold the Lord, the Ruler, cometh into His holy Temple: rejoice and be glad, O Sion, and hasten to meet your God’ (RB). Let us, too, go to meet Him, emulating the holy sentiments of the old Simeon who ‘came by the Spirit into the Temple’ (Gospel: Lk. 2: 22-32), and filled with joy, received the Divine Child into his arms.
“In order to celebrate this event more fittingly, the Church today blesses candles and gives them to us; with burning tapers, we enter the Temple in procession. The lighted candle is a symbol of the Christian life, of the faith and grace which should shine in our soul. It is also the image of Christ, the light of the world, ‘a light to the revelation of the Gentiles,’ according to Simeon’s canticle. The lighted candle reminds us that we must always bear Christ in us, the source of our life, the author of faith and the grace. By His grace, Jesus Himself disposes us to go to meet Him with livelier faith and greater love. May our meeting with Him today be particularly intimate and sanctifying.
Jesus is presented to His Father
“Jesus is taken to the Temple to be offered to the Father, although, being God, He was not subject to the prescriptions of the Jewish law as were the other firstborn of the Hebrews. He is the victim who will be immolated for the salvation of the world. His presentation in the Temple is, so to speak, the offertory of His life; the sacrifice will be consummated later, on Calvary. Let us offer ourselves with Jesus.
‘And thy own soul a sword shall pierce,’
“Jesus was presented in the Temple by His Mother. Let us therefore contemplate Mary in her office of Co-Redemptrix. Mary knew that Jesus was the Savior of the world, and through the veil of prophecy she sensed that His mission would be accomplished in a mystery of sorrow in which she would participate, in her role as Mother. Simeon’s prophecy: ‘And thy own soul a sword shall pierce,’ confirmed her intuition. Deep in her heart, Mary at that moment must have repeated her fiat: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Thy word’ (Lk. 1:38). At the same time that she offered her Son, she offered herself, being always closely united to His destiny.
“But, before entering the Temple to present Jesus, Mary wanted to submit to the law of legal purification. Although she knew she was a virgin, she put herself on the level of all the other mothers, and standing with them, humbly awaited her turn, carrying ‘a pair of turtle-doves,’ the offering of the poor. We see Jesus and Mary submitting themselves to law by which they are not bound: Jesus does not need to be redeemed nor Mary to be purified…” Fr. Gabriel, p. 1124-5
Jesus Christ Son of God and Son of Mary
In his book, “The Liturgical Year Vol. 3,” the Servant of God, Don Prosper Gueranger comments on the meaning of the revelation in today’s feast. “The Son of God was only to be made know to the world by gradual revelation. For thirty years he led a hidden life in the insignificant village of Nazareth; and during all that time men took him to be ‘the son of Joseph’ (Lk. 3:23). It was only in his thirtieth year that John the Baptist announced him, and then only in mysterious words, to the Jews, who flocked to the Jordan, there to receive from the Prophet the baptism of penance. Our Lord himself gave the next revelation, the testimony of his wonderful words and miracles. Then came the humiliations of his Passion and Death, followed by his glorious Resurrection, which testified to the truth of his prophecies, proved the infinite merits of his Sacrifice, and in a word, proclaimed his Divinity. The earth had possessed its God and its Saviour for three and thirty years, and men, with a few exceptions, knew it not. The Shepherds of Bethlehem knew it; but they were not told, as were afterwards the Fishermen of Genesareth, to go and preach the Word to the furthermost parts of the world. The Magi, too, knew it; they came to Jerusalem and spoke of it, and the city was in commotion: but all was soon forgotten, and the Three Kings went back quietly to the East. These two events, which would, at a future day, be celebrated by the Church as events of most important interest to mankind, were lost upon the world, and the only ones that appreciated them were a few true Israelites, who had been living in expectation of a Messias who was to be poor and humble, and was to save the world. The majority of the Jews would not even listen to the Messias having been born; for Jesus was born in at Bethlehem, and the Prophets had distinctly foretold that the Messias was to be called a ‘Nazarene’ (Mt. 2:23).
Jesus brings Peace to the World
“…At length the Holy Family enter Jerusalem. The name of this City signifies Vision of Peace; and Jesus comes to bring her Peace. Let us consider the names of the three places in which our Redeemer began, continued and ended his life on earth. He is conceived at Nazareth, which signifies a Flower; and Jesus is, as he tells us in the Canticle, the Flower of the field and the Lily of the valley, (Cant. 2:1) by whose fragrance we are refreshed. He is born in Bethlehem; for he is the nourishment of our souls. He dies on the Cross in Jerusalem, and, by his Blood, he restores peace between heaven and earth, peace within our own souls; and on this day of his Mother’s Purification, we shall find him giving us the pledge of this peace.
“Whilst Mary, the Living Ark of the Covenant, is ascending the steps which lead up to the Temple, carrying Jesus in her arms, let us be attentive to the mystery; one of the most celebrated of the prophecies is about to be accomplished in this Infant. We have already had the other predictions fulfilled, of his being conceived of a Virgin, and born in Bethlehem; today he shows us a further title of our adoration—he enters the Temple… Now, the Prophet Aggeus, in order to console the Jews, who had returned from banishment and were grieving because they were unable to raise a House to the Lord equal in splendour to that built by Solomon, addressed these words to them, which mark the time of the coming of the Messias: ‘Take courage, O Zorababel, saith the Lord; and take courage, O Jesus, the son of Josedec, the High Priest; and take courage , all ye people of the land; for thus saith the Lord of hosts: Yet one little while, and I will move the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. And I will move all nations; and the Desired of all nations shall come; and I will fill this House with glory. Great shall be the glory of this House, more that of the first; and in this place I will give Peace, saith the Lord of hosts.’(Agg. 2:5, 7, 8, 10)
Jesus is more glorious than the Temple
“The hour is come for the fulfilment of this prophecy. The Emmanuel has left Bethlehem; he has come among the people; he is about to take possession of his Temple and the mere fact of his entering it will at once give it a glory, which is far above that of its predecessor. He will often visit it during his mortal life; but his coming to it to-day, carried as he is in Mary’s arms, is enough for the accomplishment of the promise and all the shadows and figure of this Temple at once pale before the rays of the Sun of Truth and Justice. The blood of oxen and goats will, for a few years more, flow on the altar; but the Infant, who holds in his veins the Blood that is to redeem the world is at this moment standing near that very altar…
Miraculous Revelation to Simeon
“But this great event could not be accomplished without a prodigy being wrought by the Eternal God as a welcome to his Son. The Shepherds had been summoned by the Angel, and the Magi had been called by the Star, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem; this time it is the Holy Ghost himself who sends a witness to the Infant, now in the great Temple
“There was then living in Jerusalem an old man whose life was well nigh spent. He was ‘a Man of desires’ (Dan. 10:11). And his name was Simeon; his heart had longed unceasingly for the Messias, and at last his hope was recompensed. The Holy Ghost revealed to him that he should not see death without first seeing the rising of the Divine Lights. As Mary and Joseph were ascending the steps of the Temple, to take Jesus to the altar, Simeon felt within himself the strong impulse of the Spirit of God: he leaves his house and walks towards the Temple; … Mary, guided by the same Divine Spirit, welcomes the saintly old man, and put into his trembling arms the dear object of her love, the Salvation of the world. Happy Simeon! Figure of the ancient world, grown old in its expectation, and near its end. No sooner has he received the sweet Fruit of Life, than his youth is renewed as that of the eagle, and in his person is wrought the transformation which was to be granted to the whole human race. He cannot keep silence; he must sing a Canticle; he must do as the Shepherds and the Magi had done, he must give testimony: ‘Now,’ says he, now O Lord, thou dost dismiss thy servant in Peace, because my eyes have seen the Salvation, which thou has prepared—a Light that is to enlighten the Gentiles, and give glory to thy people Israel.’ (Lk. 2:29)
Simeon and Anna rejoice at the coming of Jesus, the long-awaited Messias
“Immediately there comes, attracted to the spot by the same Holy Spirit, the holy Anna., Phanuel’s daughter noted for her piety, and venerated by the people on account of her great age. Simeon and Anna, the representatives of the Old Testament, unite their voices and celebrate the happy coming of the Child who is to renew the face of the earth; they give praise to the mercy of Jehovah, who ‘in this place,’ is this second Temple, ‘gives Peace’ to the world as the Prophet Aggeus had foretold.
“This was the Peace so long looked forward to by the Simeon, and now in this Peace will he sleep. ‘Now O Lord,’ as he says in his Canticle, ‘thou dost dismiss thy servant, according to thy word, in Peace!’ His soul, quitting its bond of the flesh, ‘will now’ hasten to the bosom of Abraham, and bear to the elect, who rest there, the tidings that ‘Peace’ has appeared on the earth and will soon open heaven. Anna has some years still to pass on earth; as the Evangelist tells us, she has to go and announce the fulfilment of the promise to such of the Jews as were spiritually minded, and ‘looked for the Redemption of Israel.’ (Lk. 2:38) The divine seed is sown; the Shepherds, the Magi, Simeon and Anna, have all been its sowers; it will spring up in due time; and when our Jesus has spent his thirty years of hidden life in Nazareth, and shall come for the harvest time, he will say to his Disciples: ‘Lift up your eyes; and see the countries, for they are white already for the harvest (Jn. 4:35), pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that he send labourers into his harvest.’ (Lk. 10:2)
“Simeon gives back to Mary the Child she is going to offer to the Lord. The two doves are presented to the Priest, who sacrifices them on the Altar; the price for the ransom is paid; the whole law is satisfied; and after having paid her homage to her Creator in this sacred place, where she spent her early years, Mary, with Jesus pressed to her bosom, and her faithful Joseph by her side, leaves the Temple.
Jesus’ Second Coming
“Such is the mystery of this fortieth day, which closes by this admirable feast of the Purification, the holy season of Christmas.” Gueranger, pp. 463-469. Let us contemplate the mysterious plan of God in the events surrounding Jesus’ First Coming when we say the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary especially “The Presentation and Purification.” Let us see how God had prepared some special souls as the Shepherds, Magi and Simeon and Anna for the first Coming of His Son which was in humility and mystery. Just as these witnesses prepared for His first coming, let us prepare ourselves for His second coming. Unlike the first Coming, where Christ was hidden from all but a very few, the second will be in power and glory when Jesus comes triumphantly with His Angels to judge all the nations of the world: “But when the Son of Man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory; and before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates sheep from the goats…” Mt. 25: 31-2
Mission of the Immaculate Mediatrix (MIM) 1 February 2014
On the First Saturday of every month, we will have our monthly formation program for those who interested in affiliating themselves with the Marian Spirituality of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate. The day begins at 9:30 AM and goes until 4 PM and includes two conferences, Holy Mass, adoration and the rosary. (see flyer on door)
This spirituality is Marian and Franciscan and includes the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Maximilian Kolbe and other Franciscan saints. “The fundamental aim of the MIM is the fulfilment of God’s plan for the salvation and sanctification of all souls through the maternal mediation of the Immaculate to the supreme glory of the Most Holy Trinity.” (Article 2: Statute)
It is most important at this time in our world to come together and learn about Our Lady and her messages especially Fatima. Pope John Paul II: On November 9, 1976 said in the USA as Karol Cardinal Wojtyla: “We are now standing in face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that the wide circles of American society or the wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the Anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-gospel.”
We hope that all of you will consider joining the MIM and work for your own sanctification and the sanctification of so many souls who are in danger of being lost for all eternity in hell as Our Lady said at Fatima.
The First Saturday: February 1, 2014
Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1925 “…I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me." If only we would do what Our Lady asks, we would be assured of eternal salvation. Our Lady promises us all the graces necessary for our salvation if we keep The Five First Saturdays!