HOMILY OF TUESDAY 2ND FEBRUARY, 2021
FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
PRESENTATION OF THE LORD (FEAST)
R1:- Malachi 3:1-4
Accl:- Luke 2:32
Gospel:- Luke 2:22-40
THEME: LIFE AS A GIFT FROM GOD
The presentation of the Lord was in adherence to a long standing Jewish tradition of circumcision, redemption of the firstborn and the purification after childbirth. Every Jewish boy receives his name and he is circumcised 8 days after birth.
Moreover, every firstborn male, either of human or cattle is considered sacred to the Lord. The ceremony of redemption is a means by which the parents buy their child back from God(Numbers 18:16). They were meant to pay the sum of five shekels within a span of thirty days.
More so, the rites of purification was meant for the mother of the child. After the childbirth, if the baby is a boy, the mother remains unclean for forty days. If it is a girl, she remains unclean for eighty days. Hence, the mother is expected to bring to the temple, a lamb for a burnt offering and young pigeon for a sin offering. Interestingly, Jesus’ family could not afford these. They were able to present two pigeons which was regarded as the offering of the poor; a great indication of Jesus’ background. He was born into a poor family.
We can deduce from Jesus family script that, it is not where we are born that matters, but why we are born.
The testimonies of Simeon and Anna summarised the mission of Jesus to the world. He is a light for revelation to the gentiles, and for glory to the people of Israel.
Therefore, we learn from the presentation of Jesus, that parents are mere caregivers to their children. God owns all. We are only helping God to cater for his children. Hence, all parents must work towards showing the ways of the Lord to his or her children. We must take them through the path that can lead to the realisation of their destiny.
Additionally, today is a special day when the religious brothers and sisters all over the world renew their consecration to the Lord. It is a special day when they reflect on the gift of their self-donation to God by life of witness to his love among the people.
While we pray for the grace of final perseverance for the religious, we equally pray that the grace of God upon us move us to lead others to him. May we be instrument of bringing his children closer to him. Amen.