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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

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Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 24:7-10
Luke 2:22-40

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"When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought Him up to Jerusalem so that He could be presented to the Lord."—Luke 2:22

This book, One Bread, One Body, is published by Presentation Ministries. We are named after the feast of Mary's Presentation, which is celebrated November 21. However, we also have a special devotion to Jesus' Presentation, today's feast.

In contemporary English, the word "presentation" refers to presenting a talk or concert. The word is also used to describe the conferring of an award, academic degree, or special gift. For example, medals, plaques, honorary degrees, awards, and prizes are presented. However, the Bible uses the word "presentation" much differently. Biblically, a presentation is a liturgical ceremony in which a first-born male child is presented to the Lord. This child is given to the Lord by sacrificing something in his place (see Lk 2:24). Another Biblical meaning of the word "presentation" is the giving of a three-year-old child to learn and serve in the Temple (see 1 Sm 1:28). Both of these Biblical presentations express a total commitment to the Lord, loving Him with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength (see Dt 6:5). Therefore, when you hear the word "presentation," think of total commitment to Jesus, and then do it or renew it. Present yourself to the Lord.

Prayer:  Father, purify the Church so it can be presented to Jesus as "a glorious Church, holy and immaculate, without stain or wrinkle or anything of that sort" (Eph 5:27).

Promise:  "This Child is destined to be the Downfall and the Rise of many in Israel, a Sign that will be opposed." —Lk 2:34

Praise:  Mary's parents presented her to the parish priest for Baptism on the feast of Presentation.

Reference:  (We offer a retreat, The Joy of Living in the Spirit, Feb. 19-20, 2016. Open your heart and let Son shine in with His holy joy. Call 513-737-2397 or visit www.presentationministries.com for information.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 28, 2015

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