February 2 is the Feast of the Presentation of Baby Jesus to God in the Temple. Annually, this feast commemorates the presentation of 40-day old Baby Jesus to God in line with the Jewish practice of the purification of the mother after childbirth and the presentation of the child to God in the temple. Hence, it is a 2-in-1 feast – Feast of the Purification of Mary, and the Feast of Candle Mass. It is also called the Feast of Encounter because it illustrates the Holy Family’s encounter with the old prophet Simeon and the holy old widow Anna who have for many years been waiting for the Saviour. Joseph’s offering of two pigeons in the temple as sacrifice for the purification of Mary years after her childbirth and for the presentation and redemption ceremonies performed for baby Jesus further substantiates the dual nature of this feast. Why do we celebrate this feast? What does the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple mean to you? BETTY AMUKPO inquires. Read the excerpts.
‘Being recognized as the Messiah’
The presentation of the Child Jesus occupies a significant status in my heart. Being recognised for the first time by Simeon when Jesus Christ was presented in the temple as the Messiah. Being recognised as the Saviour of the world really means a lot to me.
‘Presentation of the child Jesus’
It’s when Baby Jesus was presented in the temple with two turtle doves. It occurs 40days after Christmas. He was presented by both His mother & foster father, St Joseph.
‘A sign that we all belong to God’
Jesus was presented to the Church as a sign that we all belong to God and that as children of God we should also try to be dedicated to the things of the Church in order for us to feel connected to Jesus Christ.
‘Son of God’
Jesus Christ is the son of God. When Mary gave birth to Jesus he was brought to the temple and Simeon was the Chief Priest of the temple. Jesus was presented in the temple because the Law of Moses says that every first born male is to be dedicated to the Lord.
‘He’s recognized as the Messiah’
The presentation of Jesus took place when he was just 40 days old. It’s celebrated every 2nd of February as the Holiday of candle Mass which reminds us of the importance of community. Through the presentation he’s recognized as the Messiah.
‘A child chosen by God’
What I understand by presentation of Jesus is when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into the temple where they gave him to Simeon. Then Simeon took the child in his arm and gave thanks to God. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “this child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel.”
‘All babies given birth to should also be presented to God’
The presentation of the child Jesus to me means showing Jesus to the whole world, bringing joy to the world, it means the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into the world to save the whole world and to free us from sin and most of all, it means the gift given to us by GOD, to save us all. Baby Jesus was presented at the altar of God in the temple so that means since baby Jesus was presented to God all babies given birth to should also be presented to God.
‘Obey laws and to thank God in everything we do’
Presentation of the child Jesus is when Joseph and Mary in thanksgiving, took the baby Jesus to the temple to present Him to God according to the law of the land. It teaches us that Jesus is the Messiah as well as to obey laws and to thank God in everything we do.