The Presentation of the Lord

02-02-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

This weekend, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord when the child Jesus is presented in the temple (Luke 2:22-29). The feast, observed on February 2, is also one of the five glorious mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Traditionally, the feast is celebrated with everyone holding a lighted candle during Mass. Hence the Mass in commonly known as the Candlemas Day. The candle light is symbolic of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. During all of our Masses this weekend, we will observe the holding of a lighted candle while the priest blesses them all.

In addition to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord today, the Catholic Church also celebrates the World Day for Consecrated Life. This observance was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1997 to be celebrated in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Consecrated life, also known as religious life, is a way of life in which priests, nuns and some lay people dedicate their entire life to God and publicly take the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience within a religious order approved by the Church. In professing the vows and living within community, the members strive to model the life of Jesus more closely in their service to others and the Church.

One symbolic connection between the Feast of Presentation and the Consecrated Life celebrated on the same day is that, just as the candle light is symbolic of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, the consecrated men and women are also called to spread the light and love of Jesus Christ through their unique witness of selfless service wherever they are called to serve in different parts of the world. By dedicating their entire lives to following Christ, consecrated persons are particularly able to reach out to those on the peripheries of our society and bring the message of the Gospel to all those in need.

Blessing of Throats

Monday, February 3, is the Feast of St. Blaise when we receive the blessing of throats. During the blessing of the throat, the priest uses two candles, holding them slightly open in the form of an “X”, pressed against the throat as the blessing is said. The blessing of throats is for protection against any disease of the throat. St. Blaise is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and is venerated as the Patron Saint of the Sick. Legend has it that, as Blaise was hauled off to prison, a mother came to see him with her young son who had a fish bone lodged in his throat. At Blaise’s prayer and command, the child was able to cough up the bone. Through the intersection of St. Blaise, may God grant complete healing to all those suffering from throat diseases.

Thank you and Remain Blessed.

Fr. James