Nov 21 – Memorial for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today, we commemorate the presentation of the Blessed Virgin as a child in the Temple where, according to tradition, she was educated. The feast originated in the Orient probably about the seventh century, and is found in the constitution of Manuel Comnenus (1166) as a recognized festival. It was introduced into the Western Church in the 14th century, abolished by Pope Pius V, but re-established by Sixtus V in 1585. Its observance by the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the day of their origin led to the devotion of Mater Admirabilis (Mother Most Admirable).
- Patron Saint Index
“Hail, Holy Mother, who gave birth to the King who rules heaven and earth for ever.” – Entrance Antiphon from today’s Mass
Today we celebrate the memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In gratitude for the gift of life, the Saintly parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joachim and Anne, presented our Lady to the Temple and consecrated Her to God.
This was practiced in a period when childbirth was extremely risky for both the mother and the child. A presentation in the Temple signifies a thanksgiving for the birth of a child, and to humbly offer the child back to God as His child. For creation belongs to God, even our ability to procreate.
I have good friends who are Christian, and they ask me about my beliefs and relations regarding the Virgin Mary. I was at a loss for words. Simply put, I believe she is the Immaculate Conception, without original sin, chosen to be the Mother of our Lord, who remained pure, virginal and sinless her whole life. I could restate all that I learned about our Lady, word for word. However, as to my relationship with her…I could not answer without deeper thought.
She is the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and also our Mother. She has many titles, but none more close to my heart than our Mother. No, not our earthly or biological mother, but our Mother in heaven, who intercedes and prays for us. Despite what many Catholics and non-Catholics believe, we do not pray to the Virgin Mary, but we pray for her intercession. This is more powerful than you may think. Because she is the Mother of our Lord Jesus, whom He loved and was obedient to while He was on earth; Mother Mary is indeed very special, in her unique relationship with the Holy Trinity, and to us.
So what is my relationship to our Lady? She is my confidant, my guidance, my Mother to whom I run to whenever I am in need of comfort or advice. She takes me by the hand and leads me to her Holy Son. She helps me through the pitfalls, calms my soul, quiets my mind so that I can focus and continue on my way to her Son.
The quickest way to Jesus (no, not a short cut, but a direct path), is to consecrate to Jesus through the Virgin Mary. Young Karol Wojtyla’s life was greatly changed through Marian consecration or entrustment of himself to our Lady. It enabled him to draw closer to Jesus and the Holy Trinity, to deepen his faith and to sustain him spiritually. It so changed his life that he became Saint John Paul II!
I am a long ways away from what young Karol has achieved, but I do desire to entrust myself to the care of our Lady, to consecrate myself to Jesus through Mary. The next time someone asks me about my relationship with Mary, there will be no hesitation in answering.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Dearest Mother, please pray for us and with us, so that we may love and follow your Son, our Lord, without reserve.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of our Mother Mary and her intercession. We thank you for the gift of Your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.