“Thus, says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.” (Malachi 3:1-3) 

Malachi prophetically proclaims that God’s promise will suddenly appear to the people of Israel in the Temple. Malachi’s prophecy was a warning to the people of Israel that the Lord whom they longed and desired to see his coming would not come with vindication but rather judgment. The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord commemorates the fulfillment of the promise Malachi had spoken that the presence of God has been made known to us in Jesus being presented in the Temple in Jerusalem by Mary and Joseph.  

On the day Jesus was presented at the Temple the words of the Prophet Malachi were fulfilled, for on that day, the Lord whom the people of Israel had sought came to the Temple in Jerusalem as an infant. The presence of God is with us in this Church today and comes to us in unexpected moments and in unexpected ways through people whom we do not readily recognize as bearers of God’s word. Simeon was one of those people who revealed that God is made present to us in unexpected ways. Simeon recognizes that this child is a light for revelation but not all will accept this revealed truth.

This infant is seen by Simeon as light emanating from light. “Now Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory for your people Israel.” (Luke 2:22-40)

That light can be seen clearly in the vigil candle that tells us that Jesus is present in the consecrated hosts that are in reserve in the Tabernacle and in us, a living Tabernacle of the Lord from whom the light of Christ shines. There is the tradition in the Church to bless candles during the Mass for people to carry home and light them once they are home. Those candles are the visible presence of Jesus Christ, but even more so, we are the visible presence of Jesus Christ. The light of Christ which emanates from us helps others recognize that Jesus is present in us as individuals, as a community of faith gathered in this Church and as a people of God who are living in this world. 

Jesus was presented by Mary and Joseph in the temple. He was presented to the world as a merciful and loving sacrifice for the forgiveness of humanity’s sins. “He has become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:14-18) We have been presented as well, when our parents and godparents brought us into the Church to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. In those waters we are illumined by the Light of Christ and we are to then present ourselves to Christ in the same way Christ has presented himself to us. Jesus is a revelation to the nations, and we are called to be a revelation to the nations by the fact that the light of God’s word is to emanate from us. 

The Responsorial Psalm 24:7-10 could almost be a question from someone who is seeking the light over the darkness: “Who is this King of Glory?” We, illumined by the light, respond back: “It is the Lord!” The celebration of the Presentation of the Lord provides an opportunity to examine our conscience and ask ourselves how well we are illuminating the way for others? Simeon and Anna spoke their prophetic words that day when Jesus was presented in the Temple and they have helped illuminate the way for us all ever since.