Today is the feast of the presentation of our Blessed Mother to the Temple in Jerusalem. Her parents, Saint Anne and Saint Joachim, took their holy child to be raised in the path of holiness.
In this mystery, we have much to meditate upon.
In the Via Positiva
In the Way of Bliss, we see this mystery from the perspective of Mary. She was sent to the Temple to increase in holiness. Not doctrine, not legalism, in the Temple she was meant to find wisdom and holiness.
This reminds us of our work in the Via Positiva, where we, like our Blessed Mother before us, learn to see the world as it really is. She was surrounded by the power of the creative Word of God, experienced the kingdom of Zion as a real place, and was constantly reminded that God is in all things and all things are in God.
As we contemplate this mystery, we need to recommit ourselves to walk the path of Bliss, remembering that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, our guide, who leads us to all truth.
In the Via Negativa
In the way of silence, we see this mystery through the eyes of St Joachim and St Anne.
Saints Anne and Joachim had prayed for years for a child. Now, standing on the steps of the holy Temple, they gave the child back to God. Imagine the pain of the holy grandparents of the Lord as they gave up their only child.
How often are we asked to do the same? The child's first day at school, their first day at college, and sometimes the tragic loss of a child into the silence of death. We share this experience also when we move from a favorite city, lose a beloved job, or realize we have to close down a pet project.
Throughout our lives, there are many beloved people, projects, and things we will have to let go of. Our heart clings to them even though we know that they are gone. This is the lesson we learn from the way of silence. We cannot hold on to everything forever. Attachment is the cause of suffering. While it is never easy, we must learn to let go.
In the Via Creativa
In the way of creation, we see this mystery through the eyes of Mary.
While she was in the Temple, Mary found favor with the Lord. She became the vessel through which Jesus Christ would enter the world.
This is the very same work that we are called to do. We are called to be co-creators with God. We must learn to see Christ as our brother and our child. To do this, we must enter the holy place and set our hearts aside to do the work of God, which is compassion, justice, and loving kindness.
We learn to see God in all things and all things in God. Now, we must learn to speak the Word of God, and arrange our lives as ambassadors from Zion.
In the Via Transformativa
The presentation of our Blessed Mother led to Mary's glorious Fiat. It was her time in the Temple, her time in Zion, her time with God, that not only caused her to find favor with the Lord, but made her ready and willing to say yes to being the mother of God.
So many people in the church today jump straight to the way of transformation, and seek to change the world without first doing the hard work of preparing and changing themselves so they are the proper vessel for the change they want to see. It is easier to yell at others than to do the real hard work of changing ourselves.
Sisters and brothers, I invite you to look at the example of our Blessed Mother. she sought out the face of God so she might reflect God to the world. We must humble ourselves and do the same.
Let us pray
Blessed mother Mary, as we contemplate your presentation in the Temple, we ask that you will give us your Immaculate Heart. Conform us to the person of your son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Welcome us into the kingdom of Zion, holy Queen, and pray that we may be safe in our sojourn through Babylon.
Holy mother, teach us the ways of God. Remember us always, as we forever hold your example in our mind. Lead us to your son, our Lord Christ Jesus, that he may be born through us into the world. Amen