Sun, Feb 02 | St. Joseph Church

Candlemas

All are welcome to attend the Mass and bring their own candles to be blessed as a part of the Liturgy. Following Mass is the St. Blase blessing of the throat.
Registration is Closed
Candlemas

Time & Location

Feb 02, 2020, 9:00 AM
St. Joseph Church

About The Event

 Candlemas Day is another name for the feast of the Presentation of  the Lord. Forty days after His birth, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to  the temple for the rites of purification and dedication as prescribed by  the Torah. According to the Book of Leviticus (12:1-4), when a woman  bore a male child, she was considered “unclean” for seven days. On the  eighth day, the boy was circumcised. The mother continued to stay at  home for 33 days for her blood to be purified. After the 40 days, the  mother and the father came to the temple for the rite of purification,  which included the offering of a sacrifice — a lamb for a holocaust  (burnt offering) and a pigeon or turtledove for a sin offering, or for a  poor couple who could not afford a lamb, two pigeons or two  turtledoves. Note Joseph and Mary made the offering of the poor (Lk  2:24).

Also, Joseph and Mary were obliged by the Torah to “redeem” their  first born son: “The Lord spoke to Moses and said, ‘Consecrate to me  every first-born that opens the womb among the Israelites, both of man  and beast, for it belongs to me’” (Ex 13:1). The price for such a  redemption was five shekels, which the parents paid to the priest. This  “redemption” was a kind of payment for the Passover sacrifice, by which  the Jews had been freed from slavery.

However, St. Luke in the Gospel does not mention this redemption, but  rather the presentation of Our Lord: “When the day came to purify them  according to the law of Moses, the couple brought Him up to Jerusalem,  so that He could be presented to the Lord, for it is written in the law  of the Lord, ‘Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord’”  (Lk 2:22-23). So the focus is on Jesus’ consecration to God. The verb  “to present” (paristanai) also means to “offer,” which evokes Jesus  being presented as the priest who will offer Himself as the perfect  sacrifice to free us from the slavery of sin, seal the new and eternal  covenant with His blood, and open the gates to the true promised land of  heaven.

Simeon, a just and pious man, who awaited the Messiah and looked for  the consolation of Israel, was inspired to come to the temple. He held  baby Jesus in his arms and blessed God, saying, “Now, Master, you can  dismiss your servant in peace; you have fulfilled your word. For my eyes  have witnessed your saving deed, displayed for all the peoples to see: A  revealing light to the Gentiles, the glory of your people Israel” (Lk  2:29-32). Simeon, thereby, announced that the Messiah has come not just  for the Jew but the gentile; not just the righteous, but the sinner.

He then blessed the Holy Family, and said in turn to Mary: “This  child is destined to be the downfall and the rise of many in Israel, a  sign that will be opposed— and you yourself shall be pierced with a  sword — so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare” (Lk  2:34-35).

So the Presentation is a proclamation of Christ — Messiah and Priest,  Lord and Savior. He is the light who came into this world to dispel sin  and darkness. For this reason, traditionally at least since the seventh  century, candles have been blessed at Mass this day that will be used  throughout the year, hence coining the term “Candlemas.”

As we consider the feast of the Presentation, we remember that our  parents presented us at church for our baptism. We were dedicated to  God, and given the name, “Christian.” We, too, received a lit candle  from the paschal candle, at which the priest said, “You have been  enlightened by Christ. Walk always as a child of the light and keep the  flame of faith alive in your heart. When the Lord comes, may you go out  to meet Him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom” (Rite of  Christian Initiation of Adults). Therefore, as a light, each of us must  bear witness to Our Lord. We must be the beacon that guides others to  Christ. Also, we must realize that we, too, will be “a sign that will be  opposed,” especially on issues of the sanctity of human life, marriage  and the family.

Registration is Closed

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