The Presentation of Mary

Today's feast | Today's readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Luke 1:46-55, Matthew 12:46-50

You know, I'm not sure how my mother would react to my not acknowledging her presence like that, but I know it wouldn't be good! But, lest we impute the wrong motives to our Savior, we should understand that He was well aware of Mary's contribution to the will of God. St. Augustine reminds us that Mary was extremely obedient to God's will and singularly cooperative with God's plan of salvation. He says: "Indeed the blessed Mary certainly did the Father's will, and so it was for her a greater thing to have been Christ's disciple that to have been his mother, and she was more blessed in her discipleship than in her motherhood."

Jesus was holding up Mary as an example of discipleship to all of us. Our constant efforts and prayers should be directed at being as open to the will of God as she was. By her fiat, saying yes to God through the angel Gabriel, Mary opened the world up to the possibility of salvation through Jesus Christ.

The feast of the Presentation of Mary goes back to around the sixth century in the Eastern Church. It appeared in the Latin Church around the eleventh century and was made a feast of the Universal Church in the sixteenth century. This feast is not historical, but is based on a tradition from the early church of Mary having been presented in the Temple to God by Joachim and Anne when she was around three years old. This was to fulfill a promise made to God when Anne was childless. The tradition continues the theme which begins at Mary's Immaculate Conception, continues through the celebration of her birth, and through the Presentation we celebrate today. This tradition teaches us that Mary's destiny to fulfill God's will began before she was born and continued through her early childhood.

We call on the intercession of Mary our Mother today, that she would guide us to lives open to the will of God, and that she would lead us always to proclaim the greatness of the Lord in soul and in spirit.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God;
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

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