Eve of Candlemas

February 1, 2011

When the time came for their purification according to the law of
Moses, the parents of Jesus brought him up to Jerusalem to present him
to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every firstborn
male shall be designated as holy to the Lord"), and they offered a
sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, "a pair of
turtledoves or two young pigeons."
(Luke 2:22-24)

That time for purification, according to the law of Moses, was forty
days after the birth (see Leviticus 12). Tomorrow, February 2, marks the
Feast of the Presentation, also known as Candlemas, when the Church
recalls Jesus' first journey to Jerusalem.

Mary and Joseph make this trek because they are observant Jews. The law
says that they are to offer a lamb, or if they cannot afford a lamb,
then two turtledoves or two pigeons. (See Leviticus 12:6-8) Luke doesn't
dwell on the point, but doesn't say anything about a lamb. Apparently
Mary and Joseph spent what they had on the trip to Jerusalem. They were
not wealthy people.

As I write these words, I am sitting in my warm home, looking out at
new-fallen snow. It's been a drag, this winter; and I've been grumpy
about all of the snow. I have no reason to be, however; I am safe and
warm. On this night, in this county and commonwealth and country there
are people who are not so lucky.

Jesus never forgot the poor; probably because he knew what it was like
to grow up that way. Maybe it's why he noticed widows, and orphans, and
beggars. May this Feast Day be an opportunity for us to do the same. Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the earth.

Originally posted at Rich's Ruminations.