Tuesday 21 November
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Tuesday of week 33 in Ordinary Time
First reading – Zechariah 2:14-17
In unity with Eastern Christianity and commemorating the dedication in 543 of the New Basilica of Saint Mary, built next to the Temple at Jerusalem, this feast celebrates Mary’s “dedication” of herself to God from her infancy, inspired by the Holy Spirit, whose grace had filled her ever since her immaculate conception. As with Mary’s birth, we read of Mary’s presentation in the temple only in apocryphal literature. In what is recognized as an unhistorical account, the Protoevangelium of James tells us that Anna and Joachim offered Mary to God in the Temple when she was 3 years old. This was to carry out a promise made to God when Anna was still childless. The first reading announces how God is preparing for incarnation, “Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion; for I am coming to dwell in the middle of you”. He incarnates and dwells among us. And He comes from His holy dwelling which is Mother Mary. Let’s reflect: Do I recognize the holiness of Mother Mary?