Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Today we celebrate the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. Known by both names throughout history, today we commemorate the presentation of Christ in the Temple and the completion of the purification rituals for the Blessed Virgin. While neither had no need to do so, both fulfilled the requirements of the law. Whether it was in the sacrificial offerings or the work to get to the Temple for these rites. This shows us the deep humility of both Our Lord and Our Lady, that each submitted to the law even though there was nothing in need of purifying or offering.
This is an example to each of us, who so often thinks things we must do is beneath us, that we are far better than this or that. Our Lord and Our Lady were both perfect and sinless. Our Lord was God, and Our Lady was God’s chosen vessel in the world. They were indeed above and beyond the things that were required of them, but they both fulfilled these roles perfectly and without complaint. May we strive, on this Feast Day, to also follow after their example. Far too often, we think we are deserving of things we do not have, but the example Our Lord and Our Lady have left to us is the opposite.
Today is also the day in which the prophet Simeon declared that Christ was a light of revelation to the Gentiles. This feast thus became a day associated with light, and therefore we bless candles. Blessed candles will be available for a donation after Mass. Please find them in front of St. Joseph’s altar at Old St. Mary’s and in front of Our Lady’s altar at Sacred Heart.
Because of this emphasis on light, this is why a groundhog in the small Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney is pulled from his sleep. While his weather-predicting capabilities are questionable, this well-known tradition developed out of the Feast of the Presentation and the blessing of candles. May we continue to do well to sanctify society and culture around our Feast days, by keeping them holy and feasting!
Lastly, I would like to inform everyone that our agreement between Old St. Mary’s and Urban Sites is now complete. We will have use of all the Salvation Army lots on Sundays and other agreed-upon days. If you can not find a parking spot, please see James, who will give you a note to put in your car. You must have these notes on your dashboard; please do not just park there. Please also note that this expires at 2:00 p.m. on Sundays. Please do not take advantage of this so that we can preserve this relationship and ensure ample parking on Sunday. This has more than doubled our parking capacity.
In exchange for this, Urban Sites has sub-leased our lots for their use in the evenings. We will have a few things to work out in the coming weeks as this is implemented, so please watch my column for more information. We will try to make this as seamless as possible, but it will require some adjustments to how we may have operated thus far.
Have a blessed week ahead!