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The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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By Melanie Williams (Nov 21, 2018)
Today we celebrate the memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Church tradition holds that at a young age, Mary was presented to the Lord in the temple by her parents Joachim and Anna. It was there, in the temple, that Mary was dedicated to the Lord and made her vow of chastity. She lived and grew up in the temple until she was betrothed to Joseph.

What does the Feast of the Presentation mean for the Church? What does it mean to us?

We all are presented to the Lord in Baptism. Mary entered the temple with her parents and was offered to the Lord. We are not only offered to the Lord at Baptism, we become the temple of the living God through Baptism.

Mary shows us what it means to be a temple of the Lord through her pregnancy. Just as, literally, Jesus was within her, so, literally, the Holy Trinity is in us through Baptism. Do you respect yourself and others as temples of the living God?

As Mary was conceived without any stain of sin, and she remained so all of her life, we, ourselves, are cleansed of all sin at Baptism, but we fall and sin. Do not be discouraged, though. Mary bears the title "the Refuge of Sinners." In your weakness, in your failings, go to your Mother.

The Founder of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, St. Stanislaus Papczynski, wrote a reflection about today's feast day:

As for you, therefore, approach Him today with confidence, hoping that the forgiveness of your deficiencies will be granted to you. If you despair of being successful in your cause, assume as your Patroness the Refuge of sinners... You — burdened with evil deeds — do not despise the remedy of penance, considering God as an excessive severe Judge, while He mercifully calls everyone to Himself; He does not want to be the cause of condemnation for anyone, He desires that everyone be saved; He helps those who strive after perfection to strive after it, and becomes more merciful to those who return to their reason.

You should beseech and seek God's blessing through nobody else, [except] through the Rebecca of the New Testament, [that is] God's Mother, the most holy Virgin. ... Congratulate the most blessed Virgin on this privilege, namely that she became the Mother of God, the Savior, with the flower of her virginity not at all spoiled. Commit to her all your needs with a perfect disposition of submission and trust, not doubting that they will turn out in the best way. Learn also to take refuge in her in the case of your doubts, anxieties and difficulties, and to give continuous thanks to the Lord, that He chose her and made [her] a Mother for Himself and an advocate for us.

But desire this, as a most important thing: that you may avail yourself to the full of her power and most effective aid in that difficult, dangerous and last struggle, in which you are going to migrate from this life.

O Mary, conceived without Original Sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

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