Jesus awes and moves Simeon to prophecy at His Presentation. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Duty and to seek St. Joseph’s help to become a better Catholic father and by growing in the Virtue of Vindication so he can regularly conduct a deep Examination of Conscience, repent and be forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance.
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – February 2 – Lk 2:22-40
As required by Jewish law, Joseph, presented Jesus for circumcision and naming eight days after the Nativity and now fulfills the family’s next religious obligations at the Temple in Jerusalem: the purification ritual for mothers after birth (Lev 12) and the ceremonial presentation of first-born son (Ex 13:11-16). While Mary is Immaculate and remains miraculously a virgin even after the birth of Jesus, Joseph leads her to fulfill the Law and avoid scandal. Joseph’s presentation of Jesus fulfills the obligation that a Jewish first-born male must presented to the Lord, either to be consecrated as a priest, or to be redeemed for a non-priestly vocation. Joseph and Mary make an offering of the poor (two small birds); the child Jesus is counted among the poor He comes to save.
Simeon, a devout old man, has long waited for the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would see Israel’s salvation; the sight of the child Jesus fulfills God’s promise to Simeon, and he is moved to prophesy. Simeon’s hymn, called the Nunc Dimittis (Latin, “now dismissed”), draws from Isaiah’s prophecies and confirms Simeon may now die in peace, knowing Israel’s promised salvation has come. Beyond Simeon’s comprehension, he holds God in his arms.
Simeon’s prophecy is a bittersweet consolation to Mary and Joseph. Jesus’ mission of salvation to the world is confirmed by Simeon at the Temple, giving Mary and Joseph joy. While Simeon’s prediction of the judgment Jesus will bring upon the people and that Mary will suffer deep sorrow brings sadness, Simeon’s words prepare and strengthen Mary and Joseph for their coming trials; Joseph must have known great sorrow as he realizes Mary will suffer sorrows without him, presumably because he will die and not be able to comfort her. Anna’s praise of God’s blessing in His Son offers an additional consolation to Mary and Joseph.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel as Jesus first enters His Temple: Person of the Trinity, He calls and causes the Temple in Jerusalem to be built and institutes all the ritual laws of the Jews; Son of Joseph and the perfection of Justice, even in His earliest days, He perfectly fulfills all Religious requirements (a part of Justice) demanded of Jewish men; His Divine Presence and Attractiveness though only 40 days old, causes the holiest of people (Simeon, Anna) to be moved to ecstatic joy.
Seek St. Joseph’s help to become a better Catholic father
Realize: In Jesus’ Presentation at the Temple (CCC 529) and in all other ways, Joseph and Mary perfectly kept the requirements of the Jewish Law, raising Jesus to be a devout Jew who perfectly fulfilled all the duties of a Jewish man.
Believe: Reflect upon the essential Duties of Catholic Fathers (CCC 5, 1653, 1656, 2221-2231, 2688).
Pray: St. Joseph, pray that I can build the Virtue of Duty/Responsibility (a part of Justice) so I can better imitate you and I accept and fulfill my sacred duties to be a Catholic father who draws many to your Son, Jesus Christ, and His Holy Catholic Church.
Regularly conduct a deep Examination of Conscience
Realize: Simeon prophesizes Jesus will be the cause of “the fall and rising of many”; Simeon’s prophecy remains true and the “many” includes you personally.
Believe: Reflect upon the need for a regular Examination of Conscience (CCC 1454).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Judge, help me build the Virtue of Vindication (a part of Justice) so I build a disciplined habit of holding myself accountable for my own sins against You, and I often return to You with deep contrition in the Sacrament of Penance.