Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (2: 22-40) which tells of the time when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem to present him at the Temple for the purification rites as required by the Law of Moses.Fr Paul says the story of the Presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple that we hear today is dominated by Simeon’s welcome, ‘a light to enlighten the gentiles and the glory of your people Israel’, and also by his warning to Mary, ‘a sword will pierce your heart’. Simeon reiterates the angel’s promise that the child would fulfil the destiny of Israel and Israel’s task to the nations. Much like any family life, the promised future included the delights of the growing, of developing as a child, and the background of fear that the great destiny of each child may include sorrow and even heartbreak. Fr Paul says, all we know for sure is that ‘the child grew to maturity’, and that Mary ‘pondered all these things in her heart’.
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