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presentation of our lord

February 1, 2017 + Beholding the Light before Eternity

from Vespers for the Great Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple

He that rideth on the cherubim, Who is praised by the seraphim, today is offered according to the law in the divine Temple, lying in the arms of an old man, and receives from Joseph offerings becoming God, two pairs of turtle doves, the undefiled Church and the people chosen anew from the Gentiles, and two pairs of pigeons, since He is the head of the Old and New Covenants. But Simeon, having received the meaning of revelation which was made unto him, blessed the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, foretelling and pointing to the sufferings of Him Who was born of her, seeking deliverance from Him and crying, Now lettest thou me depart, O Master, as Thou didst go before and promise me; for I have beheld Thee, O Light before eternity, the Lord and Savior of the Christian people.

February 1, 2012 + Embracing Our Salvation

by Archpriest Steven Rogers
from The Word, February 1999

On February 2, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Meeting of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This great feast, which commemorates that event at which Mary presents herself and her child in the temple for purification prayers forty days after the birth of her Son, is the culmination of the celebration of the Nativity of Christ. Once again, this feast reminds us of the Incarnation of God. As a man, Christ is submitting Himself to the Law that all might be fulfilled. We are confronted again with the amazing truth of the Incarnation —that God lowered Himself to become a man so that man might be lifted up out of his sin. Christ was truly a man, “like us in all respects save sin,” says St. Paul.

While remaining fully God, He submits Himself to the Jewish law as a man, “For I come not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.” Upon their arrival at the temple, Mary presents the Christ Child to the Elder Simeon. It is this “meeting” that the feast celebrates. The second person of the Trinity “meets” his people as represented by Simeon, allowing mankind to embrace its creator and the author of its salvation.

Simeon knew it was his salvation he embraced and for him, life was now complete. “Lord now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace according to Thy Word. For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou has prepared before the face of Thy people; a light to lighten the gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel.”

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