Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
All three readings today stand as a reminder of the joys and struggles of human life. On the one hand, today harkens back to the Incarnation, namely, that through one human Child, reconciliation to God is possible. This redemption is summarized each night (during Vespers/night prayer) in Canticle of Simeon. Yet, on the other hand, the longer Gospel reading hints at the upcoming passion and struggles that losing a child can have on a parent.
For those without children, these feelings of immense joy, yet deep despair and helplessness are touched on in the Second and Third Weeks of the Spiritual Exercises. The retreatant is present at Jesus’ first breath in the manager, but days later, he/she sees this child naked and exposed grasping for breath upon the Cross. Just as Jesus shared in our flesh and blood, through death, He destroys the one who has the power of death. May this feast day of the Presentation of the Lord be a reminder of the immense gift that we have received through Jesus’ Incarnation, eternal life.