21.11.2020 Matthew 12:46-50 Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today we celebrate a beautiful feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary namely, the Feast of Mary’s Presentation in the Temple. We commemorate that wonderful moment when Saints Joachim and Anne presented their daughter, Mary, in the Temple. Like other children, Mary was presented in the Temple when she was about three years old, but hers was no ordinary Presentation. To echo the Prophet Zechariah, Mary entered as the Daughter of Zion (Zech. 9:9), and her coming to the Temple signalled that the time was at hand for God to be present to humanity in a new and unimaginable way: the Eternal Son would take upon himself our human nature in Mary’s womb.
Today’s gospel reading suggests that there were times when she struggled to understand what was God’s purpose for her life, especially concerning her son Jesus. He had left home and started to preach throughout the land. Mary, his mother, might not have seen him for a long time. That is why she goes to meet him. But his answer is ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.’ It was a time for Mary to ponder on the ways of God. What she wanted for Jesus was not necessarily what God wanted for him. In that sense, Mary’s experience can be very close to our own. Sometimes we struggle to discern the will of God. What we choose to do may not correspond to the plan of God. Like Mary, we have to keep ourselves open to where the Lord is leading us. In the gospel reading, Jesus declares that those who do the will of his Father, in whose lives God’s will is done, are his brothers and sisters and mother. It was above all Mary who did the will of Jesus’ heavenly Father. She was open to God’s presence from the earliest years of her life. We look to Mary to show us what it means to say ‘yes’ to God’s call in our lives. She was completely given over to doing God’s will, to allowing God to do his will in and through her.

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