Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
(Malachi 3:1-4; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-32)
Although many Catholics take very seriously the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, others are quite nonchalant about it. Some of the latter would not hesitate to receive Communion after negligently missing Sunday Mass perhaps because they are unaware of its mandatory status. Luke’s gospel provides everyone food for consideration on the matter.
Today’s passage features Jesus entering the Temple for the first time. Of course, he isn’t attending Mass there, but he is giving worship. The gospel shows him in the Temple again when he is twelve and finally at the end of his sojourn when he enters Jerusalem to confront the evil powers. In all cases Jesus is at home there; indeed, he calls it “my Father’s house” (2:49).
As Jesus goes regularly to the Temple, we attend Mass in church on Sunday. Doing so once a week on the Lord’s Day as the Church commands makes a healthy rhythm. As Simeon claims in the passage, Jesus is the light. He illumines the way to real happiness in a world full of deceptive distractions. Unless we regularly receive the orientation we need from him, we are likely to lose our way.