Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the LORD whom you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like the refiner's fire, or like the fuller's lye. He will sit refining and purifying silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer due sacrifice to the Lord. Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord, as in the days of old, as in years gone by.
Since the children share in blood and flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
This Sunday is forty days after Christmas, and is celebrated as the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. According to the Jewish Law, every firstborn male shall be consecrated to the Lord, and redeemed through an offering at the temple (Numbers 18:15). Also, women who gave birth shall wait until the days of her purification to be fulfilled, and then give a purification offering to the priest (Leviticus 12:2-8), hence this feast used to be called the Purification of Our Lady.
Though Jesus was presented at the temple like every other Jewish firstborn male as in the Law of Moses, He is actually Lord of the temple, as it was prophesied: “The lord whom you seek will come suddenly to his temple; the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.” (Malachi 3:1) Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Simeon confirmed Jesus' identity as God's anointed one, describing Him as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for [His] people Israel,” (Luke 2:32) when he met baby Jesus in the temple.
May we also recognize Jesus as this “light” that reveals to us the path to salvation, and remember that Jesus, being “a merciful and faithful high priest before God” (Hebrew 2:17), is willing to become one of us, whom though without sin, has gone through trials, sufferings and death, so that He can in turn help those who are in trials and sufferings, and save those who believe in Him. May we be once again touched by His love and mercy, and grow in faith that He will guide us on to the path of holiness, and help us conquer temptations and sins, so we can together enter into the everlasting kingdom of the Lord.