The feast of the Presentation of the Lord, celebrated forty days after Christmas, brings the nativity stories to an end. It is a very Jewish feastday, concerned as it is with the purification of the mother after giving birth to a son (the purification period was doubled for the birth of a daughter – WTF?) and the redemption of the first-born son, in fulfilment of the Mosaic law. The story in the Gospel of Luke also brings the series of stories about the birth of Jesus to a conclusion, with only the final story of the the holy family travelling to Jerusalem when Jesus is twelve years old (and on the cusp of manhood). Over the course of these stories, a whole series of figures is given to us in different life situations – from a couple in their middle years (Zechariah and Elizabeth), to a pair of teenagers just starting out (Mary and Joseph) and today two people in their older years who are ready after a faith-filled life to return to their maker. In the midst of all of these examples, Jesus provides the constant theme of a God who is near; a God who fits into all kinds of different situations and circumstances – as an older brother who shares our same human experiences and even our own temptations.
Recorded at St Paul’s, 10am (8’09”) – includes final blessing at Mass.
Luke 2:22-40; Hebrews 2:14-18.