The Presentation of Our Lord | iPray with the Gospel
Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. … he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace”.
He followed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the promise was fulfilled. A long life was crowned with that encounter. You can imagine the old Simeon, so many years dreaming about it, wondering what the Child and His parents would look like… When he saw the Child coming into the temple in the arms of Mary he asked to hold Him in his arms too. Joseph was a bit wary at the sight of that old weak man. But the man, full of faith and love, insisted. “Now I can die” he said (and at this moment Joseph’s wariness started to be a real concern!) “Now I can die” he said, for he had finally seen and held Jesus! All his life getting ready for that moment…
Blessed Imelda Lambertini (1322 – 1333) is the patroness of First Holy Communicants. She had a special devotion to the Eucharist. From the age of five she insistently requested to receive Holy Communion but the custom of the time had fixed twelve as the earliest age for First Holy Communion. She would sometimes exclaim: “Tell me, can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” On May 12, 1333, when she was eleven years old she was attending Mass, as she did each day, watching in tears as others received Communion. But when the Mass finished and everyone was ready to leave, suddenly some of them were startled to see a Sacred Host hovering in the air above Imelda as she knelt before the closed tabernacle, absorbed in prayer. The priest understood that Our Lord wanted to be received by her and gave Imelda her first Holy Communion then and there. Immediately she was enraptured: she sank unconscious to the ground, and when they picked her up, they found that she was dead. “Now I can die!”
Mary, Mother of the Eucharist: teach me to attend Mass as if it were my first Mass, my last Mass, my only Mass.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).