In ancient Greece the runner that won the race was not the man who crossed the line in the shortest time … it was the man who crossed it in the least time with his torch still burning.
Like those Greek runners, we Catholics carry a light in us that we are called to share with others.
Yesterday, February 2nd, we celebrated that light in the Church. It was the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, aka the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, aka Candlemas.
It’s a feast day that may slide under the radar for many of us. And its name in our Liturgical Calendar, the Presentation of the Lord, in my opinion doesn’t do it justice.
Even though the feast day was yesterday, I wanted to take a closer look at it in this week’s Genuflect. The true meaning of the presentation, the Jewish laws that were being followed, Mary’s incredible encounter with Simeon, the tradition of Candlemas and why it may be the true end of Christmas.
So check out these resources for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. It’s sure to reignite your pilot light. And help you finish the race with your light still burning brightly for all to see.
Founding Editor, Genuflect
True Meaning of the Presentation
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord commemorates when baby Jesus was presented at the Temple according to Jewish law. Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio explains the true meaning of this celebration, why it’s also called Candlemas … and why it’s so very relevant for you and me.
Presentation of the Lord – Candlemas, Candles & Light | Crossroads Initiative
Following Jewish Laws
There were many Jewish laws that mothers were to follow after the birth of their first son. And Mary followed them all to a tee. Here’s some insight into what she went through … including that fateful encounter in the Temple.
The Presentation of Our Lord | EWTN
There was a lot going on 40 days after Jesus’ birth. He was presented in the Temple and Mary was purified, according to the Jewish law. But there was something else too. Simeon recognized who Jesus was and His true purpose … and he gave Mary a warning. Why did he give her that warning?
The Fourth Joyful Mystery
You no doubt reflect on the Presentation of the Lord when you are saying the Rosary on a Monday or Saturday and get to the Fourth Joyful Mystery. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll see that this mystery has everything to do with obedience. This meditation will give you a little more to reflect on for this mystery.
The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation of The Lord Read | Catholic Mom
The Origins of the Feast Day
The origins of the celebration of the Presentation of the Lord dates back to the fourth century … though it had a different name. The Candlemas celebration was not added until the 11th century. Here’s the fascinating evolution of this February 2nd Feast day.
The Tradition of Candlemas | Catholic Answers
Symbolism of Candles
Light carries special meaning in the Catholic Church with Jesus as the light of the world. We use candles throughout Mass and around the Church. And on Candlemass, the candles are blessed in a special ceremony. But did you know that there is special meaning associated with the candles used in the Church … for the beeswax, the wick, and of course, the flame.
The Symbolism of Candlemas | Catholic Company
Celebrating Christmas Until Candlemas
It’s hard to imagine that some people may just now be taking down their Christmas decorations … and it’s not because they are lazy. You see, some people believe that Candlemas is the true end of the Christmas season. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider extending your Christmas celebrations until Feb. 2 next year.
5 Reasons to Celebrate Christmas Until Candlemas | ChurchPOP
Yesterday we celebrated Candlemas, but it’s not too late to pray this special prayer for Candlemas to ask our Lord to help us to live in the light every day.
A Prayer for Candlemas Day – Prayers | Catholic Online
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