Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
I have some great news to share with you today.
First, we need to understand the Pro-Life meaning of today’s Gospel (Luke 2:22-40), because after you reflect on this, you will appreciate it so much more.
The two traditional Jewish rituals that Mary and Joseph followed soon after the birth of Jesus are a little bit confusing for us.
But their deep meaning in ancient times is still valid for us today, and that’s why the Holy Spirit preserved the narration of these events in the Gospel.
What is that deep meaning? Simply put, it is this: Every human life is a precious gift from God, worthy of reverence and respect.
When St. Luke tells us that Mary and Joseph consecrated Jesus to the Lord, he is referring to the first ritual. The ritual consisted in offering a gift to God in symbolic exchange for their child, in order to acknowledge that children are a gift from God, and so they ultimately belong to God.
This ritual was also related to the Passover, when God slew the firstborn sons of Egypt, but spared those of Israel.
The second ritual was connected to the holiness of motherhood.
After giving birth, women were required by Jewish law to wait for a specified amount of time before they could appear in the Temple or participate in any public religious ritual. Once the time had elapsed, they rejoined community worship by offering two sacrifices (this is what the pair of turtledoves was for).
This requirement also reflects the religious value that God’s people have always put upon human life: it was a way of acknowledging the sacredness of life.
When a woman gives birth, she is participating in a mystery that touches God directly, since he is the creator and sustainer of all life (most especially human life since all men and women were created in the image of God). It was considered appropriate that she remain segregated from everyday activities afterwards, as a sign that she had been involved in something holy.
By submitting to these religious laws, Christ verifies the great esteem of human life that they reflect.
Every child, every human life, is a gift from God!
Life is a participation in the mystery of God’s infinite power and unconditional love.
Jesus is pro-life, because he is the author and protector of life – of each of our lives.
Now for the news I told you about.
Do you remember the case in Texas this month where the judge ordered for a pregnant woman to be taken off life support. It is unfortunate that they won’t survive, and our hearts go out to the woman’s relatives and friends. In a similar case, a baby was saved!
You can read the story here: Baby Born at 27 Weeks Via C-Section After Mother Declared Brain Dead. A life has been saved!
Biltrix dedicated the month of January to Pro-Life to support the thousands and thousands of marchers in Washington, DC, in San Fransico, and many cities throughout the United States. We’ve asked for your prayers to bring people’s awareness to the sanctity of life, for our nation to respect the dignity of human life, and to save more lives. Thanks for following us this month and thanks so much for your efforts and prayers to end abortion.
[Source for Gospel Reflection adapted from ePriest.com]