Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memorial of the Presentation of the Mother of the Lord at the Temple. This feast, born in Jerusalem and celebrated in both the East and the West, remembers both the ancient temple and how Mary offered her life to the Lord

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 3, 31-35

Now his mother and his brothers arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him.

A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, 'Look, your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.'

He replied, 'Who are my mother and my brothers?'

And looking at those sitting in a circle round him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers.

Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The feast of Mary’s Presentation at the temple is tied to the dedication of the new church of St. Mary built in 453 near the temple of Jerusalem. Mary, the “Theotokos” (Mother of God) is the true temple in which the single sacrifice pleasing to God is offered. With this memory we welcome the tradition of the apocryphal proto-gospel of James which narrates the adolescent Mary’s consecration to God. It is a pious tradition which makes us think about the urgency of leading so many adolescents today to God, adolescents who are often carried away from the many beautiful aspects of existence, especially from life. We need to do everything we can to take care of these young people so that, from a society which raises them in the school of selfishness and vanity, they may instead be educated at the school of the Gospel. The evangelist Mark relates a Gospel scene which reminds us of the urgency of placing ourselves in the school of Jesus. The passage that may seem hard toward Mary; in truth it is the way that Mary always has followed. We hear that Jesus is in the house and many have come to listen to him. His relatives arrive, with Mary, and they send to call him. The relatives “stay outside,” writes the evangelist, obviously indicating something which is not just spatial. Only those that “stay inside” and listen to his word, says Jesus are his true family. The Christian community is always born from the Word of God, and lives in listening to it. All of us must pay heed not to fall into the temptation of presuming to be “relatives” of Jesus, or to think that we do not need to gather to listen to him, almost as if access to him was natural and taken for granted. All told, it is not enough to be part of a group of Christians in order to find salvation. Every day we need to enter “inside” the community to listen to the Gospel as the Church communicates it. And we are not disciples once and for all! We need to listen to the Gospel each day and to welcome it in our hearts. The example of Mary, brought to the temple, is a precious example for every Christian community to be a school of communion and love. And this is decisive too for Christian families so that, from the beginning, they commit to communicating the faith to their little ones so that they, like Jesus, can grow in “wisdom, age and grace.”