November 21, 2022
by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's Jesuit Community
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 503

Revelation 14:1-3, 4b-5
Psalm 24:1bc-2, 3-4ab, 5-6
Luke 21:1-4

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          This feastday has no foundation whatsoever in Scripture, not in the case of Mary in particular or newborn girls in general; at best the feastday represents a pious desire to show Mary as having the same sort of dedication to God that Jesus receives in his Presentation in the Temple, which we celebrate on February 2nd. 
          In the case of Mary, though, we should see that dedication in God’s plans for her from her very origin, which we celebrate on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, or in how she has dedicated herself by her simple stance before God as we see her proclaim in the “Magnificat.” 
          And what is it that we do if we consider those two moments in her life?  First that God wished her to be untainted by sin of any sort so that Jesus might have the perfect mother – and so that we might have her as our own perfectly loving mother. 
          Then the “Magnificat” outlines her basic spirituality: she is as simple and receptive of God’s grace as it is possible to be, and it is because she receives everything from God that she is able to give thanks to God and proclaim his goodness for what he decided to achieve through her. 
          If we ourselves had that same spirituality we would use God’s gifts perfectly and gratefully recognize that everything good about us is the result of his love.  We would embrace our lowliness, a humility which permits God to sweep aside all merely human values and expectations, to create a Kingdom in which the poor and disregarded come to be lifted up and shine with God’s light for the sake of all.
          Are we willing to present ourselves to God and ask that he recreate us in the image of Mary?  Could we even rejoice if God took us at our word? 

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