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9 February 2014
posted by Canon Dakin on 12-02-2014

God had formed the people of Israel. He had settled them on land he had chosen. They were his people, He was their God. As a sign of his ownership and dominion over them, every first-born male was to be presented  to Him in the temple and bought back, as it were, by an offering.  Feminists might rage that females were overlooked but here at the presentation of Jesus we are moving from the Old Testament into the New. ‘Your own soul a sword shall pierce’. The offering which Mary carried into the temple was her Son to be handed over to death so that God’s plan for the world might be fulfilled.    Mary stands for humanity handing over someone who was totally ours, and therefore within our gift, to die on a cross that we might be totally his as the Son of God.   Jesus, being fully human, offered himself as humanity’s gift to God. There was a further offering - the offering of Mary herself to share through suffering in the work of her Son.  We, too, are linked to Jesus by our baptism. His father has become our Father. We may, therefore, in union with Jesus, make an offering of whatever we do and whatever  we suffer and as we are children of God, in whom He sees his Son, our doing and our suffering may share some of the effectiveness of that of the Son. So let’s not be negative about suffering and death.  Let us remember St Paul who tells us that in our bodies we can fill up what is wanting to the sufferings of Christ. We may turn to Our Lady to help us to make an offering of our life and our death to God. This is implicit in our Holy Communion when we unite ourselves to Our Lord in the mystery of his death and resurrection. ‘If we die with him we shall live with him.’ To meditate on this feast of the presentation is to vindicate our Morning Offering: “O Jesus, through the most pure heart of Mary, I offer all the prayers, works, sufferings and joys of this day, for all the intentions of your divine heart in the Holy Mass”.

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