Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus.
This specific Feast represents well the total and free offering of self to God, because it was on this day that Mary offered Jesus to the Father. All the faithful, through our baptismal consecration, can imitate today’s mystery by offering our littleness to the Father through the hands of Mary.
Mary presents Jesus and us to the Father
Today, “Jesus arrives at the Temple in the arms of his mother, Mary. Our Lady prepared her soul to present the Son of God to the Father and to offer herself to Him. In doing this, she renewed her fiat and once again put her whole life at the disposition of the Lord. Jesus was presented to the Father in the hands of Mary.”
We too are reminded, on this feast, of the need to present and offer our lives to the Father. And this is something we have to do over, and over, and over again, because our wills become stubborn, wounded and deformed. Through the help of grace, the sacraments, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are able to present ourselves freely to the Father, asking for his will to be done in our lives and to be faithful to our baptismal promises.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the key to this. She knows how to make a perfect presentation, a perfect offering of us. With the words of St. Alphonsus Liguori, we can ask:
Today, Oh My Queen,
She Comes with Two Turtle Doves: We too Must Come Poor
So how does Mary come to the temple? She comes poor. The typical offering for the redemption of the first-born son was a lamb, but the Mother of God comes to the temple with a pair of turtle doves, the offering of the poor.
If we want to offer our poor hearts to God, we want to do it like Mary, the Model of Perfection. So then, we too must come poor and we must come through her hands.
“We must give her our body… our soul…our goods or riches and all we shall acquire… we must reserve nothing, be it a penny, a hair, or at the least good deed” It is when we give Mary everything and our true devotion to her is perfected that we make “the perfect renewal of the vows and promises of Baptism.”
St. Therese of Lisieux also wished her hands to remain empty, even from merits and virtue. She only wished she would possess Jesus himself. If we give everything in Mary, through her, for her, and with her, then we remain empty-handed, and we can trust that the emptier our hands are, the more ready we will be to receive the light of the divine child into our arms, handed over by Mary, just like to holy Simeon.
Holy Simeon spent his whole life in expectant faith, trusting he would not die without seeing the Messiah. But it wasn’t until his old age that he was able to say “mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Simeon waited for this promise with his “hands empty,” he lived in supreme docility to the Spirit, waiting and ready to receive the promised Word and Light of the nations, and this grace was not granted “except by the means of Mary”. It is through Mary and her poor offering that “Simeon discovered the riches of the world.”
When he finally saw the Baby Jesus, he recognized him, unlike the others in the temple, “and He TOOK HIM up in his arms” (from the hands of Mary) and he hugged him, he lifted him up and sang him a song!
This is the sweet exchange. We give everything to the Father, through the hands of Mary. And by doing this, she in turn gives us the treasures of Divine Grace, the consolation of possessing her Son just like Simeon.
“We will offer God our will, our reason, our mind, our whole being through the hands and the heart of the Blessed Virgin. Then our Spirit will possess that precious freedom of soul, so far removed from tension, sadness, depression, constraint and small mindedness. We will sail the sea of abandonment being freed from ourselves to attach ourselves to him, the Infinite.”
On this feast of the Presentation, let us renew our fiat and give all to Mary so she can present us perfectly to the Father.
“Today, Mary: everything. I give you everything” - Sr. Clare Crockett, SHM
 Louis De Montfort, True Devotion, C. 8
 Alphonsus Liguori , Glories of Mary , II, 6
 Fulton Sheen, Life of Christ
 Luke 2:22
 M. Yvonne-Aimee de Malestroit cited in Jacques Phillipe, Interior Freedom.
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