Place yourself inside the Temple and watch as Mary and Joseph enter to present Jesus to the Jewish priests.
When reading the Bible, many scenes are described very briefly, with very few details. This makes it relatively easy to pass over an important event quickly, missing the depth of the symbolism hidden in the story.
One of the best things we can do is slowly read the Bible, chewing on every word and even placing ourselves into the scene. When we do this with our imagination, we can discover spiritual truths that we didn’t expect to find.
Here is a meditative guide to the event of Jesus’ presentation in the Temple, as laid out in The little book of the most holy child Jesus. It presents a beautiful meditation, allowing us time to think about every aspect of the biblical event and allow God’s grace to invade our hearts.
Let us enter the Temple of Jerusalem.
The one great house of the true God in all the earth. Bright and rich with gold and colour and curious work. The house of prayer, the one place of sacrifice. The great altar of God stands there.
Crowds pass to and fro to bring their offerings or to join in the never-ending worship.
Unheeded through the crowds—unheeded because so lowly and quiet—a pair go up to the place of offering.
A maiden bearing in her arms a Babe. By her side a staid and thoughtful man. They are Mary and Joseph, and they bring the little Jesus into the Temple.
No longer the gloomy cave.
The Holy Child and His parents pass through the crowds in the stately courts of the Temple, their hearts overflowing with joy and peace; but so quiet and of such low estate are they, that none seem to notice them.
Yet that Babe is the Lord of the Temple, Lord of heaven and earth, of all creation. Heaven itself cannot contain His glory, nor countless angels worship Him enough or sound the praises due to Him.
It is His will to be offered thus for the love of us, with all His glory hidden, in His Temple on earth.
It is His will because it is the will of the Father who has loved us with an everlasting love.
The crowds know not, as they press by, that it is their Savior and God.
Yet Mary, whose only thought is to do the will of her Son, knows that she is offering a gift beyond all price, at once her first-born Son and her God.
Aged Simeon, the holy servant of God, for years and years has come daily to the Temple with the hope of seeing this holy Babe.
He was told by the Holy Spirit that he should not die before he had this great joy
And now he takes the Child, his Lord, in his arms, a peaceful calm flows in upon his soul, and he is ready to die when the good God wills.
Anna, too, the aged Prophetess, for this also had waited in the Temple for long years.
Now she sees her heart’s desire. She reveals the Holy Child to the Jews; but little do they heed.
They are taken up with this world, and love its pomps and grandeur so well that when they look upon its Lord and Maker they see but a little Infant like any other child of men.
A poor Infant in a young maiden’s arms, Jesus, Thou art come to do Thy Father’s will.
I desire to do that holy will in all things, whatever it may cost.
I offer myself to Thee; do with me what Thou seest best, now and for evermore.