The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is a very ancient feast in the church and it commemorates the day on which Our Lady dedicated herself to God in the Temple. In the year 543AD a church in honour of Mary was built near the Temple site in Jerusalem and from that time this feast has been celebrated in both the Eastern and Western churches.
There is an interesting reading given for today in the Office of Readings for the feast; it is taken from a sermon of St Augustine which was obviously delivered on this day. In it Augustine says that Mary is more blessed by being a disciple of Jesus than by being his mother.
Mary is blessed because she heard the word of God and kept it; her mind, according to Augustine, was more full of the Truth than her womb. Then he goes on to say that the Church is greater than Mary: ‘she is the holy member of the church, she is the member above all members, but she is still only a member,’
This is because Jesus alone is the head of the church and we are all members. There is only one head of the Church and of all people in the Church Mary is the highest.
For us then, we should appreciate the gift of being allowed to be members of a Church that has Jesus as head and Mary as a member.
I don’t stop often enough and think of the honour that God has given to us.