DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     February 1, 1999     vol. 10, no. 21

DAILY LITURGY

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go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Monday, February 1, 1999

      First Reading: Hebrews 11: 32-40
      Psalms: Psalm 31: 20-25
      Gospel Reading: Mark 5: 1-20

Tuesday, February 2, 1999

    Tuesday February 2:
    FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD
    Candlemass - Blessing of candles and procession

    White vestments

      Antiphon: Isaiah 40: 10, 35: 5
      Canticle of Simeon:Luke 2: 29-32
      First Reading: Malachi 3: 1-4
      Psalms: Psalm 24: 7-10
      Second Reading: Hebrews 2: 14-18
      Gospel Reading: Luke 2: 22-40

FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

     The Presentation of Jesus is also called the Purification, or Candlemass Day, since on this day the Church blesses the candles used in the procession (if there is one) and which will be used to bless throats on the next day - the feast of Saint Blase. The main focus of course is on the Presentation of Jesus which is in accordance with the old Jewish Law given from God to Moses for the Jewish women after childbirth. A mother was still considered unclean and not to appear in public for 40 days after the birth of a son, and 80 days after the birth of a daughter. At the end of this period, the first place she was to go with her husband was to the temple. There, at the door of the tabernacle she was to present a young pigeon or a turtle dove as a sin-offering. The ideal offering was a lamb, the highest immolation one could offer, as documented throughout the Old Testament - specifically with Abraham and Isaac and culminating with the Sacrifice of the Lamb - Jesus Christ on the Cross. However, very few could afford to donate a lamb for the altar. Therefore, they were allowed to substitute a second turtle-dove in lieu of a lamb. Once the high priest sacrificed these gifts to Almighty God, the woman was cleansed of the legal impurity and free to return to a normal life with all its privileges. In accordance with all this, the Blessed Mother, accompanied by her chaste husband Saint Joseph, complied, bringing Jesus with them since there was also a Hebrew code commanding the first-born be brought to the temple and presented to God. Hence, the Presentation. The Gospel Reading in Luke 2: 22-40 relates all that happened in the temple. Though the Virgin Mary was always pure she still was obedient to the law and humble in all she was asked to do by God and by man. There was also present in the mysteries of the Purification and the Presentation, a third "mystery", that of the prophecies of the holy Simeon and the prophetess Anna. Simeon knew immediately that this child was the Messiah. This was foretold by the prophet Malachi in his book of the Old Covenant and selected as the first reading in this feast's celebration of the Mass. He was also charged by God to reveal further the sorrows Mary would undergo by her fiat to God. The second reading in Hebrews 2: 14-18 reveals much of what Our Lady understood, especially verse 18 where Paul writes: "For in that He Himself has suffered and has been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted." Yes, Jesus walked in our shoes, so to speak, which allows us to follow in His footsteps.

February 1, 1999       volume 10, no. 21
LITURGY

DAILY CATHOLIC

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