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The presentation in the temple

Gospel Reading: Lk 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord…

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted – and you yourself a sword will pierce – so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four… And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

Parents already have hopes and dreams for their children as soon as they are born. Grandparents and godparents make a forecast of how and who we will be in the future. But all these will depend on the home, where we need first to grow and become strong, to be filled with wisdom and nurtured by God’s favor.

There was a time when the only way to measure a child was through his intelligence quotient (IQ). But people soon found out that even if one had a very high IQ, it was no guarantee that he would be emotionally prepared to face different situations. So we now consider a child’s emotional quotient (EQ). There is a third factor, I believe, which is just as important though some nations want this erased from their constitution. It is the religious quotient (RQ). Our RQ plays an important role as to how we face life’s challenges and trials, or bear with other people. Our faith is often the only thing we have that carries us through. All these three we acquire in the context of our families.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.