Every Sunday we have a precious opportunity to present our ‘self’ before God at mass. Sunday Mass is not an obligation for the sake of it. It is an ‘obligation’ coming from the wisdom of Christ that we need to come for Mass because it does good for us and that, we need. Christ does not gleefully check our attendance, but he offers to check on how we have managed the rhythm of our life, the ups and downs of our week.
Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. At our baptism we too were presented and consecrated to God to live a holy life. Into us flowed the supernatural virtues of faith, hope and charity. These were infused into us because based on human strength alone we cannot live a holy life. Every opportunity we receive graces to complement our virtues, and we grow and mature in this wisdom of Christ.
Today is also known as Candlemas, also why candles are blessed on this feast day. This was inspired by the words of Simeon, “because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.” (Today’s Gospel). Every Sunday we return to focus on this light, our vision having been blurred by happenings of the past week.
Every mass celebrates the Paschal Mystery; the life of Jesus in his passion, death and resurrection. Often the rhythm of our daily life beat to this same tune, the highs we can handle but the lows we need help to crawl out of. Mass offers us this consolation, and this place to replenish and recharge. At mass we appreciate why Jesus came to share in our humanity. “It was essential that he should in this way become completely like his brothers so that he could be a compassionate and trustworthy high priest of God’s religion” (Second Reading).
Every week we are sent into the world. Often, we stumble and fall amidst our challenges, so we come back on Sunday to rise again. Worldly distractions take us away but on Sunday we have this opportunity to return. Challenges break us, leaving us broken, weak and hungry. On Sunday, Christ in broken for us in the bread that is his Body to bless, strengthen and fill us. For every time we come to present our ‘self’ on the altar of God, we are lost, but we will be found.
We come to make sense of this rhythm of life, each experience leads us to an encounter, each encounter refines our holiness. “For he is like the refiner’s fire and the fullers’ alkali. He will take his seat as refiner and purifier; he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and then they will make the offering to the Lord as it should be made.” (First Reading). Every Sunday, as we present our ‘self’, we are purified.
We come as equals, the only scheduled meeting in the week where this is possible. On Sundays, we share the same status, we are of equal wealth and inheritance, regardless of who we are in the world. We come equal as children of God to be fed by the Father the Eucharistic meal. We are first forgiven, before we are asked to forgive, those who trespassed us during the week. Every mass we are at Calvary at the foot of the cross, his body broken, his blood flowed just for you and me.
The Presentation of the Lord