By: Laura Worhacz
"It is by suffering that we are sanctified, by crosses and trials that the soul is strengthened, freed from self, in order that it may find its satisfaction in God, and God alone. This is the lesson of the mystery of Mary’s Purification, and of Jesus’ Presentation in the Temple." - Saint Peter Julian Eymard (Volume 7 Eymard Library, page 75)
Dearest Eucharistic Family,
On February 2nd our Catholic Church celebrates Candlemas, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. In this great mystery there is an array of spiritual insight for us. The Spirit of God dwells in Jesus, being brought to the Temple. In the fourth decade of our joyful rosaries we may pray for the virtue of purity of heart and obedience to God’s Holy Will as we meditate on the presentation. Mary brings Jesus to the temple for the first time after his birth. She is elated to bring her Son to God and finds there the spirit of God in a message that is unexpected, “(and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Luke 2:34).
Where would we be without the CROSS? Most of humanity desires to be in bliss, yet God is not always found there. God is found in offering ourselves as our Savior did, presented by our Mother in the Temple. Mary is with us, as our guardian, our precious mother, with St. Joseph by our side. The Spirit of God is gift. It is a gift of life, of self, and an offering. Jesus’ life came to birth. An offering was freely given with what His parents had, small as it was in His temple, two turtle doves. Whatever we have to offer in our church today is the perfect gift for God, and the spirit of God will dwell in it. Love is offered in many measures, and longed for by our Father. The Crucifixion is the reality of our Christian life. When we find consolation in our sufferings, God’s spirit will be exemplified. The emptying of self, the offering of our gifts in the temple, will bring us true consolation. Mary embraced the message from Simeon, as excruciating as it was, and lived her life in JESUS. We are called to do the same. To pick up our CROSS and live in the Eucharist! This is the JOY of the Gospel, the Spirit of God, and the passion of God’s love found.