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Thursday, February 2, 2006

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Presentation of Jesus

Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 24
Luke 2:22-40

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your present to god

"Be presented to the Lord." —Luke 2:22

I recently saw an advertisement for a bride's camp. This was a service for brides who had only a few months left before their wedding day. The "camp" involved a feverish workout, nutrition, and beauty regimen designed to put the bride in the best possible shape for her wedding day. The idea is to make her "presentable" in the best possible way.

Our presentation of ourselves to God involves much more than the above example. It's true that God loves us "just as we are." We don't need to make ourselves presentable since He never rejects anyone who comes to Him (Jn 6:37). Jesus says: "Come to me" (Mt 11:28). Even if we come to Him at the most disgusting low point of our life (see Lk 15:16ff), Jesus loves us completely.

Yet, out of sheer love for the Lord, we want to "look our best" for Him "to present to [Him] a glorious church, holy and immaculate" (Eph 5:27). He Himself helps us by making us holy and beautiful through His abundant grace. Catholic families teach their children this concept by dressing up in their Sunday best for Mass. We want to love the Lord so much more than a bride loves her husband. We will fast, pray, read and obey His word, sacrifice, evangelize, and bear fruit — simply to bring joy to the Lord. We want Him to rejoice because of us (Zep 3:17). We want to present ourselves to Him "beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband" (Rv 21:2). Give Jesus the present of your presentation to Him today.

Prayer:  Jesus, I present to You my body as a living sacrifice (Rm 12:1) and a weapon for justice (Rm 6:13).

Promise:  "Since He was Himself tested through what He suffered, He is able to help those who are tempted." —Heb 2:18

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Who humbled Himself to the point of becoming a small Child for our sake and the sake of the whole world.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 16, 2005

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