devotional

Mater Christi Mother St Paul

 

The Law of God is clear. ‘On the eighth day, the infant shall be circumcised.’ The rite of Circumcision was to the Jew a sign of the Covenant which God had made with his nation – it marked him out as one of God’s own people; it was a mark of his dependence on God, and also of his slavery to sin till God set him free.

On the fortieth day a°er the birth of her Son, the day when it is Mary’s turn to keep the legal observances, and so to identify herself in all things with her Son, there is no need for her to be puri"ed, before she is allowed to enter God’s Temple; neither a need for her to present her "rst-born in the Temple and pay the ransom money for him, for his name is Saviour and he is himself the ransom for his people. There is no need; but Mary gladly does both, that she may enter more closely into the spirit of her Son, who had undergone the rite of circumcision.

How many unnecessary humiliations and unpleasant duties do I undertake just for the sake of identifying myself with Jesus and Mary, and sharing their spirit?

We may imagine the Holy Family quietly setting out for their two hours’ walk to the Temple, attracting no more notice than was usually attached to an event so common. Passing remarks were probably made as to its being the first time she was out; as to the disparity in their age; as to their poverty, for Joseph was carrying two doves, the offering of the poor, to be offered by Mary for her Purification.

Ah, how little the world sees. Extraordinary things are going on, though they are hi•den, as is ever God’s wont, under things most ordinary.

Mary, the purest of creatures, the Virgin of virgins, the Queueen of Heaven, of Angels and of men, is bearing in her arms the Lord of glory, who is on his way to visit his Temple for the "rst time, and thus to "ll it with a greater glory than ever Solomon’s Temple had possessed.

Angels are worship–ing and adoring at every step of that journey, and presently they will throw open wide the gate of the Temple to let the King of Glory in. And the humble and silent Joseph is playing a part which no Jew before or since has ever played; for though the verdict of the world is that he is too poor to afford to take a lamb, in reality he is too rich to need one, for is he not bringing to the Temple the Lamb of God? Let us try to see things and judge them from God’s point of view – not from the world’s. ND

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