Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 21, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 119:14, 24, 72, 103, 111, 131
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The Presentation of Mary is not found in scripture. It comes to us through tradition, celebrated by the Eastern Church and the Western Church. The feast is connected to the dedication of the Church of St. Mary, built near the site of the temple in Jerusalem.
The history of the feast gives rise to images for meditation. Mary is presented to the Lord by her parents. She is a small child. The temple is the center of worship for the Jews. Beyond its public courts and away from the public is the Holy of Holies, the Mercy Seat of God.
The ceremony of the Presentation expresses a dedication to God and the offering of the child to God. Later, at the Annunciation, Mary will dedicate herself to the Lord, to be the Mother of God. Her fiat means she will be obedient. In the reading from Revelation, John obediently accepts the scroll (the Word of God). The Word is sweet and yet it turns sour, it is a joy and it is a sorrow. For Mary, receiving this Word of God meant her maternity, a sweetness. Through her maternity she is led to her share in the Cross, a sorrow.
Jesus is depicted in the gospel as cleansing the temple. The place where the most pure virgin was presented to the Lord had become corrupted. Now it is being cleansed and soon will be surpassed by Christ who will fashion a living temple. The child presented in the old temple becomes the Mother of the new temple, one made of living stones, the Church. This mother is full of grace that flows from the Son. She had been taken to the temple where the Mercy Seat was present. She stood at the foot of the cross, the new Mercy Seat. She becomes the foundation of this saving grace.
As she was prayed over in the Presentation, she now prays for us, for the Word of God she sang out has proven true: ”He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation."
Obedience to God's will involves joy and sorrow. Mary will learn at the Presentation of Jesus, that her obedience to God will involve a sword of sorrow.
- Rev. Stephen H. Gratto |
email: smartins @frontiernet.net
Friday, November 21, 2008
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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