Mary and Joseph “came to offer in sacrifice ‘a pair of turtledoves or two your pigeons.'” (Luke 2:24)
In presenting their children to the Lord, Jewish parents made a small sacrifice in place of sacrificing their children. However, in Jesus’ Presentation, a small sacrifice did not replace a great sacrifice; rather, it prefigured Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on Calvary. Therefore, Jesus’ Presentation is not a calling to less sacrifice but to sharing in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice.
Today, we are called to be like Mary and open our hearts to be pierced with a sword of suffering (Lk 2:35). We are called to be like Anna, “worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer” (Lk2:37). We should be like the candles blessed at Mass and decide to be consumed as was Jesus so that His light will shine to all the world.
Today is a day of being crucified with Christ (Gal 2:19) and of finding our joy in suffering (Col 1:24) according to the pattern of His death (Phil 3:10). The Presentation is no longer in the Temple but at the cross. In love, present yourself to the Lord.