The Presentation of the Lord

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As was Jewish Law, 40 days after the birth of a male child, the mother was to present the child in the Temple along with a lamb for a burnt offering to God and a turtle dove or pigeon for a purification offering. At the time, the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was the sole site where all sacrifice took place for the entirety of Judaism. Both at the beginning of Christ’s earthly life and at the end of it, He entered Jerusalem for the very purpose of sacrifice: as an infant, it was to offer sacrifice per Mosaic Law, but as a 33-year-old Jewish man, it was to offer Himself as sacrifice for the sins of the world…the very sacrifice in which we participate when we go to Mass. Venerable Fulton Sheen once wrote that, “You and I came into the world to live; He (Christ) came into the world to offer His life for us.” From the very moment that Mary presented Jesus in the Temple to the moment when Christ rose from the dead, conquering sin and death, it was, is, and will always be by His sacrifice that we “may have life, and have it abundantly.”

By: Fr. Eric Silva