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Pres`en*ta"tion, n. Etym: [l. praesentatio a showing, representation: Cf. F. présentation.]

1. The act of presenting, or the state of being presented; a setting forth; an offering; bestowal.
Prayers are sometimes a presentation of mere desires. Hooker.

2. Hence,

Defn: exhibition; representation; display; appearance; semblance; show.
Under the presentation of the shoots his wit. Shak.

3. That which is presented or given; a present; a gift, as, the picture was a presentation. [r.]

4. (eccl.)

Defn: the act of offering a clergyman to the bishop or ordinary for institution in a benefice; the right of presenting a clergyman.
If the bishop admits the patron's presentation, the clerk so admitted is next to be instituted by him. Blackstone.

5. (med.)

Defn: the particular position of the child during labor relatively to the passage though which it is to be brought forth; -- specifically designated by the part which first appears; as, a breech presentation. Presentation copy, a copy of a book, engraving, etc., presented to some one by the author or artist, as a token of regard.

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Luke 2:22-39

2:22. After the days of Mary's purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they carried Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord
2:23. as it is written in the law of the Lord: “Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord,”
2:24. and to offer a sacrifice, according to what is written in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
2:25. There was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. This man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was with him.
2:26. He had received an answer from the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
2:27. He came by the Spirit into the Temple, and when His parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,
2:28. he also took Him into his arms and blessed God and said,
2:29. “Now You may dismiss Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word in peace,
2:30. “because my eyes have seen Your salvation,
2:31. “which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
2:32. “a light for the revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel.”
The Holy Family with Simeon and Anna
2:33. The Child's father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning Him.
2:34. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and to be a sign which shall be opposed.

For the fall, etc. . .Christ came for the salvation of all men; but here Simeon prophesies that many through their own willful blindness and obstinacy would not believe in Christ, nor receive His doctrine, which therefore would be ruin to them, but to others a resurrection, by their believing in Him, and obeying His commandments.

2:35. “Your own soul a sword shall pierce, that many hearts may reveal their thoughts.”

Having experienced such great sorrow, Mary can now relate to our sorrows and console us in our sorrows as one who has already undergone such great suffering and loss and understands our pain and grief. Also, when we have offended God, we may also choose to come to her in our remorse and repentance.

2:36. There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was far advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity
2:37. and as a widow until eighty-four years of age. She did not depart from the Temple, but served night and day with fasting and prayer.
2:38. Now she, coming in at the same hour, gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke about the Child to all that looked for the redemption of Israel.
2:39. After they had performed all things according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their city Nazareth.

The Holy Family returned to Nazareth, then fled from Nazareth to Egypt when Herod sought to kill the Child Jesus.

2:40. The Child grew and increased in strength. He was full of wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.
2:41. His parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the solemn day of the Passover,

The Passover was also known as the pasch.

2:42. and when He was twelve years old, they, having gone up into Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast
2:43. and having fulfilled the days, returned, but the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it.

Excerpt from Lives of the Saints, 1894


THE law of God, given by Moses to the Jews, ordained that a woman, after childbirth, should continue for a certain time in a state which that law calls unclean, during which she was not to appear in public, nor presume to touch anything consecrated to God. This term was of forty days upon the birth of a son, and double that time for a daughter. On the expiration of the term, the mother was to bring to the door of the tabernacle, or Temple, a lamb and a young pigeon, or turtle-dove, as an offering to God. These being sacrificed to Almighty God by the priest, the woman was cleansed of the legal impurity and reinstated in her former privileges.

A young pigeon, or turtle-dove, by way of a sin-offering, was required of all, whether rich or poor; but as the expense of a lamb might be too great for persons in poor circumstances, they were allowed to substitute for it a second dove.

Our Savior having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, and His blessed Mother remaining always a spotless Virgin, it is evident that she did not come under the law; but as the world was, as yet, ignorant of her miraculous conception, she submitted with great punctuality and exactness to every humbling circumstance which the law required. Devotion to honor God, by every observance prescribed by His law, prompted Mary to perform this act of religion, though evidently exempt from the precept. Being poor herself, she made the offering appointed for the poor; but; however mean in itself, it was made with a perfect heart, which is what God chiefly regards in all that is offered to Him. Besides the law which obliged the mother to purify herself, there was another which ordered that the first-born son should be offered to God, and that, after its presentation, the child should be ransomed with a certain sum of money, and peculiar sacrifices offered on the occasion.

Mary complies exactly with all these ordinances. She obeys not only in the essential points of the law, but has strict regard to all the circumstances. She remains forty days at home; she denies herself, all this time, the liberty of entering the Temple; she partakes not of things sacred; and on the day of her purification she walks several miles to Jerusalem, with the world's Redeemer in her arms. She waits for the priest at the gate of the Temple, makes her offerings of thanksgiving and expiation, presents her divine Son by the hands of the priest to His Eternal Father, with the most profound humility, adoration, and thanksgiving. She then redeems Him with five shekels, as the law appoints, and receives Him back again as a sacred charge committed to her special care, till the Father shall again demand Him for the full accomplishment of man's redemption.

The ceremony of this day was closed by a third mystery—the meeting in the Temple of the holy persons Simeon and Anna, the prophetess, with Jesus and His parents. Holy Simeon, on that occasion, received into his arms the object of all his desires and sighs, and praised God for being blessed with the happiness of beholding the so-much-longed-for Messiah. He foretold to Mary her martyrdom of sorrow, and that Jesus brought redemption to those who would accept of it on the terms it was offered them; but a heavy judgment on all infidels who should obstinately reject it, and on Christians, also, whose lives were a contradiction to His holy maxims and example. Mary, hearing this terrible prediction, did not answer one word, felt no agitation of mind from the present, no dread for the future; but courageously and sweetly committed all to God's holy will. Anna, the prophetess, who in her widowhood served God with great fervor, had the happiness to acknowledge and adore in this great mystery the Redeemer of the world. Simeon, having beheld Our Savior, exclaimed: "Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation."

This feast is called CANDLEMAS, because the Church blesses the candles to be borne in the procession of the day.

Reflection.—Let us strive to imitate the humility of the ever-blessed Mother of God, remembering that humility is the path which leads to abiding peace and brings us near to the consolations of God.
----Excerpt from Lives of the Saints, 1894
by Alban Butler, Benziger Brothers edition, 1894

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