Presentation of Mary

Today we send greetings and good wishes to the monks and nuns of the English Benedictine Congregation for whom this is a Dies Memorabilis while we ourselves keep the feast of the Presentation of Our Lady: one of those minor feasts which Catholicism uses to teach the real meaning of devotion to Mary. She is the Mother of God, yes, but she is also a human being — one who, like us, had to learn the meaning of her vocation. The fact that the feast is tagged on to an event recorded only in the apocryphal gospels is not really the point. What we are meant to grasp is the idea of growing in faith and obedience; of consecration to God’s service; of learning to live in the love of the Lord. The feast of the Presentation of Mary may be liturgically ‘minor’, but if we take its lessons to heart, its effect in our lives will be anything but.