Celebrant: As the child Jesus was presented in the Temple, so we now present our needs before the throne of God.
That the Church may proclaim effectively the light of Christ to all nations and bring to faith those who do not yet believe in Him, we pray to the Lord…
For government officials, that they may come to the temple of the Lord frequently to seek wisdom from his Word and grace from his sacraments, we pray to the Lord…
That we may look upon the unborn as children who belong to God, and who deserve the same respect and protection as every other human being, we pray to the Lord...
That those afflicted by poverty, war, or sickness may experience the light of the Savior born to heal all nations, we pray to the Lord…
That all who have died may behold face to face the Savior who came for them, we pray to the Lord…
Lord, your light continues to shine in our world and in our lives. Make us faithful to that light, And enable us to lead all people to your Son, Jesus Christ, Who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.
Why I Go There
“Why do I go there [to pray and protest at abortion mills]? It is because I must, I am a mother and I have the heart of a mother. I know what it is like to have a difficult pregnancy, to have everything far from perfect. I have been through labor (aptly named) and delivery. I've held that new little baby, looked in his eyes and said "Hello little one. Who are you? Let's get to know each other. I am your mother and you are my baby. I love you." - Mary Therese
Mal 3:1-4Heb 2:14-18Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22-32
Today’s celebration brings forward several themes that illumine in a particular way the Church’s dedication to building the Culture of Life.
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple emphasizes, for one thing, the fact that he was like us in all things but sin. This child shared the journey each human beings makes through his/her mother’s womb. Jesus was an embryo, a fetus, an unborn child. By assuming all the stages of our human journey, he also redeemed them.
This is closely related to a second key theme: we belong to God. The Presentation is also a declaration: this child is God’s. In Jesus’ case this is true in an even deeper way, because he is God’s only-begotten Son. If he belongs to the Father, so do all of us, and so do the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the oppressed, and the unborn. Human life cannot be owned by other human beings nor by the power of the state. It belongs only to God.
Celebrating the Presentation, therefore, gives each of us the privilege and obligation of proclaiming, celebrating, and serving that gift of life as it is entrusted to the care (not the ownership) of all of us.
And our holding of candles on this Feast represents the fact that we shine the light of this truth in a dark Culture of Death. The glory of God, which Christ shines forth to the Gentiles, is a glory reflected in every human life, no matter what its condition.