READING I: Malachi 3:1-4
RESPONSORIAL: Psalms 24:7, 8, 9, 10
READING II: Hebrew 2:14-18
GOSPEL: Luke 2:22-40
In Jewish tradition the first born male belonged to God and had to be redeemed (bought back) by the offering of two doves on the 40th day after his birth.
Today Mary and Joseph bring Jesus up to the temple for this rite of passage. While he is there, two holy people see him and recognise him as the Messiah. These are Anna and Simeon and there prophesies can be read in today's gospel. (Luke 2:22-40)
Today the church also blesses candles. This feast was originally known as the festival of light as Jesus is the light of the world. It also marks the end of the Christmas season and now the light is in the world. The light has been here for 2000 years and many still don't recognise it. At this festival we should try a little harder to see the light of Jesus in our lives.