The Presentation of the Lord: 2 February

This Sunday is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. We also celebrate this Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.

The Feast of Encounter

Forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Lord who enters the Temple and comes to encounter his people. In the Christian East, this feast is called the “Feast of Encounter”: it is the encounter between God, who became a child to bring newness to our world, and an expectant humanity, represented by the elderly man and woman in the Temple.

In the Temple, there is also an encounter between two couples: the young Mary and Joseph, and the elderly Simeon and Anna. The old receive from the young, while the young draw upon the old. In the Temple, Mary and Joseph find the roots of their people. This is important, because God’s promise does not come to fulfilment merely in individuals, once for all, but within a community and throughout history. There too, Mary and Joseph find the roots of their faith, for faith is not something learned from a book, but the art of living with God, learned from the experience of those who have gone before us. The two young people, in meeting the two older people, thus find themselves. And the two older people, nearing the end of their days, receive Jesus, the meaning of their lives. This event fulfils the prophecy of Joel: “Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions” (2:28). In this encounter, the young see their mission and the elderly realize their dreams. All because, at the centre of the encounter, is Jesus.

(Extract from Pope Francis homily to mark 22nd World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.) Read the full text of his homily here

For more background to this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord Here

Prayers of the faithful suggestions

We pray:

For all who live in darkness: that the Light of the Gospel may open new insights helping to show them the pathway to life offered by Christ.

     E te Ariki, Whakarongo mai rā kia a mātou.

For all members of Religious communities: that the Holy Spirit will empower them to continue to give faithful witness to Christ. 

     E te Ariki, Whakarongo mai rā kia a mātou.

For growth in our prayer life: Just as Simeon and Anna waited patiently for God's Word in the silence of their hearts, that we too might reflect on the good things God has done for us.

     E te Ariki, Whakarongo mai rā kia a mātou.

For parents of infants: that God will guide them in nurturing their children so that they will grow to be a blessing to the human family.

     E te Ariki, Whakarongo mai rā kia a mātou.