Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
33rd Week in Ordinary Time : Saturday, 21st November 2020
Zec. 2:14-17; (R. Ps). Lk. 1:46-47,48-49,50-51,
52-53,54-55; Mt. 12:46-50 (Ps Wk I)
While there is no scriptural basis for this feast day, there is a long tradition that Mary was dedicated to God at a very young age.
The New Testament was written within a community which had its own collective experience and memory of many social customs and norms. Not surprisingly these were later recorded in extra-biblical books such as the Protoevangelium of James, from which we derive knowledge of the social background of today’s feast.
In order to attain salvation, we do not need to know the details of Mary’s presentation or dedication to God in the Temple. Nevertheless, there are elements in the celebration of this feast which carry a perennial lesson for us.
Thus, in a strongly religious culture such as that of the Jews, good parents would, in prayer, dedicate their children to God. It seems that there was a social structure affirming and fostering that dedication: children could live in the Temple under protection until they were adults ready to face the world.
Similarly, all good Catholic parents will, of course, be desirous for the salvation of their children and dedicate them to God through baptism and see to it that they receive formation in faith.
Father, guide all Catholic parents in fostering their children’s faith and bless all Catholic children with a strong and vibrant faith.