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Unread 2nd February 2012, 02:56 PM
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Candlemas: The Feast of the Presentation...

Illumination: Feast of the Presentation

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined to be the rise and the fall of many in Israel, and a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 2
It is odd that this feastday -The Feast of the Presentation of Christ- (which as Deacon Greg explains, is also called “Candlemas” because it is the day when the candles used throughout the liturgical year are blessed) is actually one of my favorite days of all, and yet I have seldom written about it.

Back when I was young and discerning a religious vocation I would sometimes wonder what name-in-religion I would get (it’s not an uncommon wondering during discernment), and I always hoped that, whatever my name would be, my title would be “of the Presentation.”

It’s not because I ever thought of myself as much of a presentment of Christ — God forbid such a thought — but because I loved the illumination of the day, and the setting. Christ is carried into the temple: the Theotokos (the God-bearer) carries within her arms the Light, which is immediately recognized and proclaimed by both man (dear Simeon, who gives us our great prayer before sleep) and woman, Anna (who I like to think of as the first female monastic). Already, in this small scene, we see that he is truly — as the angels said at his Nativity — a light “for all the people,” from prophets to lowly widows.
Continued-
Illumination: Feast of the Presentation
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The more I follow the online discussions ... the more I follow the debates and disagreements in the Church about administrative unity, or the concerns expressed about the moral or personal or administrative or leadership failings of the bishops or the clergy, the more I become convinced that whatever might be the truth of these concerns, ALL of this is simply a distraction. No, it’s more than that. It’s a justification, an excuse, for not helping each other and those outside the Church fall in love with Jesus Christ. How easy it is to talk about everything, but about Jesus hardly at all.


- Fr. Gregory Jensen
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