READINGS for 2006-11-21
Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord: I give half my belongings, Lord to the poor. If I have defrauded anyone...I pay him back fourfold.? ? Luke 19:8
P S A L M
G O S P E L
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Acts 10-12
LIFE OF TOTAL DEDICATION
There are touching paintings showing the little girl Mary going up the stairs of the Temple to live in the presence of God. Until now, several Sister Congregations celebrate the time their Sisters present themselves to God. The idea of the presentation of Mary goes back to the second century gospel of James, a gospel never accepted by the Church as authentic. The author describes how Mary at age of three was presented in the Temple at Jerusalem, to live with other girls and holy women. He wrote: ?And the priest received her and kissed her? And he set her down upon the third step of the altar, and the Lord God sent grace; and she danced with her feet and all the house of Israel loved her. And her parents went down marveling, and praising the Lord God because the child had not turned back and Mary was in the Temple of the Lord as if she were a dove that dwelt there.? A touching story, but unfortunately not historical. While in pagan sanctuaries virgins were trained for temple service, there were no girls in the Temple of Jerusalem, an all-male sanctuary.
Lord, thank You for giving us Your beloved Mother as mother, model and example. It is not easy to imitate her but she is always close to assist us in our struggle to live a holy life of dedication and humble service. May her prayer and intercession for us make You shower us with more graces and strength so that we may be able to live out our vocation.
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