Daily Gospel Reflection: The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Bishop Robert Barron
December 29, 2023
The Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Gospel: Lk 2:22-35
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
"Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel."
The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today’s Gospel tells the story of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple.
The Presentation of Jesus, perfected on the cross, is re-presented every time the Mass is celebrated. The Mass is certainly a festive meal, the moment when God feeds his people with his very Body and Blood; but the Mass is also a sacrifice, for it involves the offering of Jesus’ Body and Blood to the Father.
The Son, bearing the sins of the world, is presented to the Father: “Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever.” Does God need this sacrifice? Of course not; God needs nothing. But our salvation is effected through this presentation, for we are brought back to the Father through the Son.