For the past few weeks, our gospel readings have been from St. Matthew. We have examined him not only as an evangelist in the strict sense, the author of one of the four canonical gospels, but as a pastor. He writes to form, not only enlighten his community. Today is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and St. Luke will be our guest evangelist. We read him last year, and if Matthew is a pastor, Luke is an historian. Let us see what he has to offer us today.
First, the name of the feast. When the Jews were in captivity in Egypt, God called Moses to lead them into the Promised Land. Moses could not convince the leader of the Egyptians, the Pharaoh, to let them go, although God sent many plagues to persuade him. Finally, the LORD killed every first–born male both of man and beast of the Egyptians. He spared the Jews and for this reason every first–born son belongs to the LORD in a special way and must be redeemed from God by a sacrifice. (Ex 13:15)
This is what we see today. Jesus is brought to the Temple to be redeemed. Just as Joseph and Mary obeyed the laws of Rome and went to Bethlehem to fulfill the census requirements, they obeyed the Biblical law to buy Jesus back. Luke wishes to show that Jesus wants us to work in our society and culture, not to abandon it. Continue reading “Presentation of the Lord – Fr. Smith Homily”