Feast of the Presentation 2013

Yesterday in the monastery we celebrated, if that is the right word, two events: the death of our beloved sister in Christ, D. Teresa Rodrigues, in 2010, and the entrance into monastic life of Bro Duncan PBGV in 2008. D. Teresa’s death was unexpected and came as a terrible shock; Bro Duncan’s arrival was also unplanned but proved a huge delight to D. Teresa and the rest of us. All very well, you may say, but how do they connect with the Presentation?

When Jesus was taken to the Temple and ‘bought back from God’, so to say, it was a day of joy and gladness for his family, a celebration of the new life with which they had been entrusted. But it was also a day with a darker side: an acknowledgement that God might ask infinitely more than they could ever dream or imagine. What we call the Presentation was a kind of opening out to the mystery of God’s purposes, an assent to whatever the future might hold. With the benefit of hindsight, we know that the journey which began in the Temple would lead to Calvary and beyond; that it would be marked with great suffering; and that the story is not yet ended, for the Church is not yet complete. The small dramas of our own ordinary, human lives are caught up in this bigger story of redemption and salvation. To an outsider, the death of a nun or the arrival of a dog are events of little consequence, but to the community concerned, they mark the passage of the years and the unfolding of the history of God’s gracious dealing. They are simultaneously trivial and tremendous.

The feast of the Presentation would be a good day to look back over the events of your own personal or family history and trace the course of God’s dealing with you. For some things, you will want to give thanks; for others, where the pain is still raw, you will want to ask healing and perhaps forgiveness; for others again, understanding. The point is, whatever we have or are, whatever we do or experience, lies within the mercy of God. At baptism we were not so much bought back from God as bought back for God — and to Him, even the death of a sparrow matters.

Day of Prayer for Consecrated Persons
This is the politically correct title of the day of special prayer for religious — monks, nuns, friars, brothers and sisters, etc.— which is held today. Please pray for us, and those who are discerning a vocation.


6 thoughts on “Feast of the Presentation 2013”

  1. Celebrate is the right word. The feast of the Presentation of the Lord is another weekday feast, removed to Sunday (as an alternative) by the Anglican Church, known as Candlemass. So sad that I didn’t have a place to go to Holy Communion yesterday. But I received it in the Spirit.

    For me, the words of the Gospel, where Jesus, record Simeon’s prayer which are so powerful

    “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace; according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: to be a light to lighten the gentiles and to be the glory of Thy people Israel (Luke 2:29-32)”.

    Of course, part of the Funeral rite and used as part of The Daily Office by the Anglican Church and I suspect wider as well.

    We of course can only hope to see our salvation and the face of the Lord after we pass, but we should seek his face in that of all that we meet day by day. He is there, looking out at us as Christ is in us doing the same, if only we let him.

  2. Prayers today for your community and thank you for a new way of thinking about this feast of the Presentation. I love the idea that our small dramas are caught up in the big amazing story of redemption and salvation.

  3. Today, Sunday, i marked the feast of the presentation at birmingham cathedral. The preacher spoke of simeon holding the child Jesus, and offered the image of Christ’s life beginning by being held by his mother and ending by also being held in her arms after his death. We too “hold” Jesus in our lives. And i hold all consecrated persons in my prayer.

  4. I want to thank you Sister for your thoughtful, generous and thought provoking blogs and articles in The Universe. Hope I’m not infringing the copyright laws by often using them in our weekly meetings of the Legion of Mary as our spiritual readings!

    • Thank you. I think our Trustees would want you to acknowledge that anything I write is copyright © the Trustees of Holy Trinity Monastery; and if you change anything I’ve written, to make it clear that the changes are your own. Otherwise, of course, I’m glad you find what I do helpful. Prayers for you and the Legion of Mary!

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