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Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

My dear encountered couples:

Today’s feast is ancient. It has been celebrated by Christians since the 6th century and commemorates an event before the birth of Christ. When Mary was a young girl of the age of 3 her parents, Joachim and Ann brought her to the Temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God and that she might be raised by the holy women who lived there.

There is a tradition behind Mary’s presentation. We know for many years of her marriage, St. Ann was childless, and she began to pray earnestly for God to bless her with a child. And she made a promise to the Lord, that she would bring the child to the Temple to be raised in service to God.

And of course, God answered her prayers with an incomparable grace in human history, the Immaculate Conception.

So, St. Ann was faithful to her promise, and brought the little Immaculate Mary to the Temple. There in the Temple, she was busy always with prayer, work, and studying the Sacred Scriptures and loving God with her whole heart. She lived and grew up in the temple until she was betrothed to Joseph. What a wonderful example she must have been to the other young girls there, to the holy women, and to the priests of the Temple. And what a wonderful example for us.

On this day, consecrated persons renew their vows to the Lord in memory of the offering of Mary to the Lord’s service. How appropriate for us to also reflect on how at our baptism we became dedicated to the Lord and we seek to serve him, through prayer and work. We do well also to consecrate ourselves to our Lady in an unlimited and irrevocable way, that she may teach us to love God as she does, that we may be presented to God as a worthy offering for His glory and the salvation of souls.

Finally, let us all imitate the good examples which Mary has shown us, in how she obeyed God and followed His commandments faithfully with all her heart, entrusting herself to the divine will that she became the Mother of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.a

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