Mary and Joseph present their newborn Child in the Temple, even though Jesus, the Son of God, is already "consecrated to the Lord." Their humble and obedient fulfilment of the law brings us to an encounter with our long-awaited consolation and redemption: Jesus, Saviour and Messiah. The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ's perfect oblation on the cross (CCC 529). And just as Mary carries her Baby to the Temple, she presents us to the Lord through her intercession.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!2nd Reading:
Isaiah speaks to people steeped in anguish – those "in the darkness", stuck in the "shadows". His advice? "Give bread to the hungry." His point: no matter how bleak our present state, Our Lord tells us, "you are the salt of the earth." Whatever distress we may be in, we always have bread to bestow on the hungry. Actively sharing in the misery of others is the way to make sense of our own misery.
R. A light rises in the darkness for the upright.2nd Reading:
1 Corinthians 2:1-5Gospel:
How God loves our freedom! He says, "If you wish, you can keep the commandments; to behave faithfully is within your power. The man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven." If we must lose things that pertain to us, in order to be numbered among the great, then so be it.
R. Happy are they who follow the law of the Lord!2nd Reading:
1 Corinthians 2:6-10Gospel:
The Lord says, "Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy." And Jesus says, "Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect." If we aspire to the perfection spoken by Our Lord, we must first "learn to be a fool before [we] can really be wise." Such foolishness makes us realise that this perfection is not something we can achieve by ourselves. Humble receptivity before God's grace is what makes us holy.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.2nd Reading:
1 Corinthians 3:16-23Gospel: