Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Receiving Christ in Our Soul - Presentation in the temple

Today we celebrate when Christ was taken to be presented n the Temple forty days after His birth.  This was when elder Simeon who vowed he world not depart until he beheld the Messiah.  



In accordance with the Mosaic law, 40 days after the birth of a male child the mother is required to present the child in the tabernacle and offer as a sacrifice either a lamb or a pair of doves or pigeons for her purification. The presentation of a first-born son also signified redemption or buying back, for all first-born creatures (both humans and animals) were considered to belong to God.


Mary and Joseph obeyed this precept of the law. They brought Jesus to the Temple where he was met and blessed by a very old Holy man. On that day in the Temple, both Simeon and a woman by the name of Anna, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, recognized the infant Jesus as the Messiah and Savior of the world. Simeon had been promised by God that he would live to witness the coming of the Messiah to the world. 



The Church today calls each one of us to make our Soul a Temple of God, where the Holy Virgin can bring her Divine Child. And each one of us should, like Simeon, take the Child in our arms and say to the Father:
"My eyes have seen your salvation, now let your servant depart in peace".
This Prayer of Simeon is used every day in the Vespers services of the Orthodox Church. But this prayer should be more to us than a description of someone who has been allowed to see and hold the Christ child requesting a peaceful departure. It should also mean for us, in particular, that having seen and touched the Savior, we are released from the hold that sin has on us, and in peace, we can leave the realm of evil.


Another important event in our Church's liturgical cycle to help us deepen our faith that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, who came for our salvation through His life, death, resurrection and establishment of His Church for our spiritual healing to reunite ourselves with God.

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