The Presentation of the Lord
Today I’d like to draw your attention to a detail that I find fascinating and indeed instructive for us on this February day in 2014.
When God became man He inserted himself in a particular religion; Judaism.
Thus we see Mary and Joseph bringing the child Jesus to the Temple to fulfil the requirements of Judaism. They were a religious family.
Indeed, Luke tells us that at the age of twelve years Jesus went missing and when Mary and Joseph found him, they found him in the Temple – where else? – “sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions” Luke 2:41-46
Judaism and the Temple played a significant role in Jesus’ life. The Gospels reveal him moving between on the one hand, the Synagogues and the Temple and on the other hand, the sinners, the outsiders, calling all to himself as the fulfilment of Judaism – and nothing less than the light whom God has prepared for all the nations to see!
Although Jesus challenges the Jewish leaders, at times using very strong words, and although the Gospels reveal corruption within Judaism (take such corruption out and there’d be nothing of the Bible left!) Jesus never abandons Judaism but rather calls the Jewish people to fulfil their religion.
He affirms Judaism saying he has come not to abolish Judaism but to fulfil, to bring to completion, and with those who follow him he brings to birth out of Judaism the Christian religion which is historically Catholic.
Now I’d like you to see what I see – there’s an order to God inserting Himself in human affairs, it’s clearly bounded, and it’s far from perfect. In fact it’s imperfect, but God inserts Himself into it, and although there are clear boundaries, there’s a line through history, a particular people moving through history to this day – the People of God which is the Church, the baptized – there’s an open invitation to all people to enter in, to be a part of it, and to find Jesus Christ there, who doesn’t wait for perfection, doesn’t run away from corruption, but places himself in the middle of it and calls us to our proper fulfilment.
Remember, He is the light and a light is at its best in the darkness!