Fr Paul reads the Gospel from Luke (2: 22-40), which tells of Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to be presented at the temple.
Fr Paul says, the celebration we have today, the Presentation of the Lord, has had several names down through history. It has also been known as Candlemas and as the Celebration of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The feast, as we celebrate it today, is the presentation of Christ in the temple, which took place 40 days after the birth of Jesus, just as the Gospel mentions, as Jewish law required. It has been known in our Church since 1960 as the Presentation of our Lord.
So, Fr Paul says, we are mindful that it has been forty days since the birth of Christ, but we are also mindful that we are leading up to our seasons of Lent and Easter. In closing, Fr Paul invites us to keep in mind the significance of the number 40 in the days and weeks ahead.