The fourth joyful mystery is the Presentation of our Lord in the temple. We are offering today's decade to you, Lord Jesus, in the honor of your Presentation, and we ask you, by this mystery and with the intercession of your Holy Mother, the grace to receive the fruits of purity and obedience.
On this day the most Blessed Virgin obeyed both [Jewish] precepts. Although Mary was not bound by the law of purification, since she was always a Virgin and always pure, yet her humility and obedience made her wish to go like other mothers to purify herself. She at the same time obeyed the second precept, to present and offer her Son to the Eternal Father. But the Blessed Virgin did not offer Him as other mothers offered their sons. Others offered them to God; but they knew that this oblation was simply a legal ceremony, and that by redeeming them they made them their own, without fear of having again to offer them to death.
Mary really offered her Son to death, and knew for certain that the sacrifice of the life of Jesus which she then made was one day to be actually consummated on the altar of the Cross; so that Mary, by offering the life of her Son, came, in consequence of the love she bore this Son, really to sacrifice her own entire self to God.
The Eternal Father had already determined to save man, who was lost by sin, and to deliver him from eternal death. But because He willed at the same time that His Divine justice should not be defrauded of a worthy and due satisfaction, He spared not the life of His Son already become man to redeem man, but willed that He should pay with the utmost rigor the penalty which men had deserved. He sent Him, therefore, on earth to become man. He destined Him a mother, and willed that this mother should be the Blessed Virgin Mary. But as He willed not that His Divine Word should become her Son before she by an express consent had accepted Him, so also He willed not that Jesus should sacrifice His life for the salvation of men without the concurrent assent of Mary; that, together with the sacrifice of the life of the Son, the Mother's heart might also be sacrificed.
Saint Thomas teaches that the quality of mother gives her a special right over her children; hence, Jesus being in Himself innocent and undeserving of punishment, it seemed fitting that He should not be condemned to the Cross as a victim for the sins of the world without the consent of His Mother, by which she should spontaneously offer Him to death.
But although, from the moment she became the Mother of Jesus, Mary consented to His death, yet God willed that on this day she should make a solemn sacrifice of herself, by offering her Son to Him in the Temple, sacrificing His precious life to Divine justice. Hence Saint Epiphanius calls her 'a priest.' - Saint Alphonsus Liguori, in The Glories of Mary
Prayer intention: for the priests
Father, we entrust to Your care the priests and the consecrated of Your Church. Please gather the lost sheep, that committed shameful acts: put in their heart a sincere repentance, and grant them the courage to do all they can so their victims may obtain justice, grant them to repair the horror they created by coming forward and admitting their crimes.
Father, take under Your caring wing the ecclesial authorities who are dealing with such scandals: help them adopt the correct attitude, while always defending the interest of the victims, and of their families, thus honoring the Church. And finally, Father, give strength to the priests and religious who are faithful servants of the Gospel and whose burden is heavy these days when the clergy is under suspicion, and who are even victims of false accusations.
With Mary and Saint Michael Archangel, we ask You in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Let us pray:
One Our Father.
Ten Hail Mary.
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Picture: The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, by Giotto.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6