The Feast of the Presentation teaches us to persevere in trials

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Presentation of the Lord
Interior of the Rosary Basilica in Lourdes, France. Presentation of the Lord Jesus in the temple. Shutterstock

The Presentation of the Lord

Feast day: February 2

What obedience is displayed here: The holiness of the Blessed Mother and the righteousness of St Joseph present the Saviour of the world in the Temple and with evidence of their poverty by the two turtledoves offered instead of a lamb. What humility it takes for such a very devout family to keep the usual rites but without the display of the material comfort that the average couple would have had.

Although in need of no purification herself, having given birth to Jesus as a virgin, Mary, together with St. Joseph, obeys the prescriptions of the law but presents a child greater than all — not by bringing a lamb to be sacrificed, but by presenting the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Here the Temple and its rites foreshadow the Church Christ will establish as a means of fulfilling his new covenant for all mankind through the offering of the sacraments. The holy family are our models to grow in holiness, as they show us how to put faithfulness to God our Father before all else.

And Mary holds on in faith despite hearing the words of the prophet Simeon: “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk. 2:34-35).

The future suffering of Jesus

The details of this future suffering foretold for the Blessed Virgin and her son are not revealed, and yet Mary remains faithful to God who hints in shadows at her future participation in the suffering of Christ and in his redemption of us all. Mary is here in the Temple with Jesus in their poverty and with him by the Cross when every earthly comfort has been stripped from him. For he is a light which is greater than anything on this earth as he saves us. With the prophetess Anna, we give thanks to God for the gift of Jesus, our redemption from our sins.

Still, we know that we must choose him by choosing to cooperate with his salvific work here on earth as exemplified by the Blessed Mother and the saints. Keeping the resurrection of Christ always before our minds, we can continue in his service of charity though a sword will pierce us. Christ assures us of victory over the challenges of living the Gospel life if we but remain close to his mother in prayer and to the sacraments of his Church.


St. Joseph, foster father of our Lord Jesus, pray that we will keep to the path of God’s will for each one of us!


Almighty ever-living God,
we humbly implore your majesty
that, just as your Only Begotten Son
was presented on this day in the Temple
in the substance of our flesh,
so, by your grace,
we may be presented to you with minds made pure.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

Maryella Hierholzer

Maryella Hierholzer is a parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and did graduate work at Georgetown University. After concluding a career in the Washington area, she is now retired in Indiana where she is a teacher of adult and youth faith formation at her parish. She is also a volunteer at Catholic Charities in Fort Wayne.