Proud History Bright Future
February 1, 2009
St. Ann’s Church & Model Schools
46-129 Haiku Road
Presentation of the Lord - February 2 after the birth of Jesus.
Two elderly people, Simeon and the widow, Anna, welcome them. They embody Israel in their patient expectation; they acknowledge the infant Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. Simeon, the old man, bursts into a song of joy that the Church still sings at day’s end. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he prophesies that the child will be the instrument of Israel's salvation. He adds that the child will be a "sign of contradiction" and promises, ominously, that "a sword [of sorrow] will pierce" the heart of Mary.
Finally, there is the widow, Anna, the prophetess. She has made the temple her home. Drawn into the light of the Face of Christ, she cannot help but praise and immediately publish the good news “to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). The encounter with the Infant Christ energizes and rejuvenates her. In some way, Anna is the first apostle sent out by the Spirit to announce the Christ.
The origin of the feast lies in ancient Jewish custom. On the 40th day after childbirth, parents bring the infant to the temple to present him to the Lord and to purify the mother. St. Luke tells us that Joseph and Mary sacrificed two birds for the occasion
The true significance of the feast concerns Jesus’ coming to the temple. He is the Promised One, whose light will shine, beaming rays of hope to the world. Even though the date for the Presentation still depends on Christmas, it has become a feast of ordinary time. Since it is a feast of the Lord, it takes precedence when it falls on Sunday.
Feast of St. Blaise - February 3
The day following the Presentation of Our Lord, our calendar permits the option of commemorating St. Blaise, a bishop and martyr of the early church. Legend has it that he once freed a child from choking, and while imprisoned under persecution he received light from friends who visited his cell with candles.
of the Lord in the blessing of the faithful’s throats on St. Blaise’s Day. Blessed candles in our churches and homes signify the living presence of Christ in our community.
1997 Resource Publications, Inc., San Jose, CA -Paul Turner
Prayer: Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every other illness: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Our church still uses candles from the Presentation
2009 Paulist Press Ordo, Mahwah, NJ – Rev. Peter D. Rocca, C.S.C.