The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
by Fr. Peter deSousa
On 2nd February 1960, I made my first vows as A Redemptorist. It was
the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple and it was a
very meaningful celebration for me as I presented myself to Jesus to
be his disciple, as a Redemptorist. I know it was He who called and
chose me, even though I was unworthy. I was midway between 22 and 23
at the time. I had one year of Novitiate where we spent much time in
silence, prayer and reflection on the meaning of this call. This was a
moment of grace and a new beginning in my life through the vows of
evangelical poverty, consecrated chastity and serving obedience.
These vows were not impositions curtailing my desires for possessions,
sexual gratification or following my own will. They were God's gift
setting me free to live the Gospel.
The years have gone by and I live in a world where I am continually
enticed by values contrary to the Gospel to seek my own comfort, to
follow my own desires, to gratify my appetites and to possess more
than I need. I can easily argue that I am leading a Religious life and
am involved in many good works. But am I really giving myself to
Jesus everyday unconditionally to represent him and his saving love to
those he sends me to?
That is the meaning of this mystery of the Rosary. Each one of us is
called by God to be his disciple. Simeon and Anna were old people who
longed to see the Messiah and had spent years in prayer and
expectation. Their faith was rewarded when Mary and Joseph brought
Jesus to the Temple. Read about it in Luke 2 verses 22 to 38.
Simeon was "led by the Spirit" who had been with him and assured him
that he would see the Messiah before he died. We too need to allow
the Spirit of Jesus to lead and guide us everyday in our search for
Jesus. He will lead us each day into his saving presence to see and
experience Jesus as our Savior and Lord of our lives. Anna gave thanks
to God and spoke about Jesus to all who were waiting for God to set
Jerusalem free. We too cannot keep the good news locked up in our
hearts but need to share it with all those who are searching for
freedom in their lives. Believe me there are so many who are shackled
and longing for the freedom that Jesus alone can give them.
Mary was the one who obtained for me my Vocation and protected me for
the six years after I finished school. It was she who led me into the
harbour of God's love after three years at sea. I know she will be
there always praying for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
to lead us finally into Heaven to see God face to face. Her husband
Joseph is the patron of a happy death and our protector against sin.
May we all be renewed in our baptismal promises to live as
Evangelizers of the good news of salvation.
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Copyright © Fr. Peter deSousa. All rights reserved.