If you have the chance to visit the Holy Land today you can, while in Jerusalem, walk up those same steps that Mary and Joseph ascended in our Gospel today, carrying their first born child. Just as this is physically possible today, so too today on this Feast of the Presentation we can also capture something of the joy and hopefulness these young parents felt as they sought to obey the Law of the Lord.
This feast is also known as the ‘Feast of the Encounter’, for it was on that day that Jesus was first taken out to his people. Yes, carried by Mary, accompanied by Joseph, Jesus is among his people. Notice also that this first encounter was between a little baby and two people in the twilight of their years. Yes, only after a long life worshipping in the temple did the Holy Spirit take a hold of Anna and Simeon and opened their eyes to the presence of their Savior. Let’s honor today the vital role that our experienced parishioners play in our parish, their wisdom, their docility to the Spirit, their long years of obedience to Gods Law – what a tremendous gift this is. We also honor our young families who, often encountering many obstacles, bring their children to worship among us. What joy and hope they bring. “ For my eyes have seen your salvation…” Simeon declares, on this feast day let’s ask that our eyes might be opened to the presence of Christ among us.