Wednesday 8 October 2014

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

There are several words, practices or beliefs in our Christian faith which cannot be explicitly found in the Bible. For example, the word "Trinity" is not specifically mentioned anywhere in the Bible, but Christians still believe that our God is a Trinitarian God or a Trinity. Likewise, the word "Christmas" is not found anywhere in the Bible, but many Christians celebrate Christmas to remind us of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Just because a word is not found in the Bible, does that mean it is not true? No. This is because many of these words, practices or beliefs are what we call "Sacred Tradition" which Christians have accepted from the earliest times.

The Memorial of the presentation of Mary in the Temple is another belief among Catholics which is not found in the Bible but from sources other than the Bible. It is found in an extra-biblical source called the Infancy Narrative of James. According to that text, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne had been childless, but then they received a message from heaven that they would have a child. In thanksgiving, they brought the child Mary to the Temple to consecrate her to the Lord. It is believed that Mary remained in the Temple to be formed and prepared for her role as the Mother of God. This feast shows that even in her childhood Mary was completely dedicated to God. It is from this account that arose the Memorial of Mary's Presentation.

From this Memorial, we are reminded of our presentation, dedication and consecration to God when we were baptised. We were transformed from an old self to a new self, to be God's chosen children. As God's children, our duty is to go forth to preach the Good News and to present our lives as an offering that is pleasing to God. Just as Mary fulfilled her mission to bring Jesus Christ into the world, we too are called, chosen and sent to fulfil our mission in bringing His message into the world. Are we following Mary's example and doing our part earnestly, diligently and joyfully?

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