The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple
This is counted as a Joyful event, when prayed as part of the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, and as a Sorrowful event, when prayed as one of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. It is joyful in that Simeon and Anna recognize baby Jesus as the Messiah and exult; they sing His praises. It is sorrowful in that Mary is told her son will be "a sign of contradiction" for the world and that "a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also" (Luke 2:35).
And there is both joy and sorrow in the very heart of the act itself - for this presentation on his 40th day, like the circumcision of Our Lord on his 8th day, is symbolic of sacrifice.
Think of Abraham, who knew that God had promised him great things through his son Isaac, miraculously conceived in Abraham and Sarah's old age. But God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, to offer back to the Lord the one dear thing upon which were hanging all of Abraham's hopes. And the point of it all is Abraham's faith ...
Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son. (Gen. 22:12 - see also Heb. 11:19)
The Presentation is an act of Oblation, of offering to God the thing dearest to ourselves.
It is an act that hearkens backward to Abraham and Isaac and forward to the Cross. It is an act that is required of the Mosaic Law, and of a deeper Law, a Law that is soon to be expressed in this way ...
Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. (Luke 9:24)
And it is an act that shows deep trust in God, even when things seem to be a strange mixture of joy and sorrow both. It is an act of trust in Divine Providence.
So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided." (Gen. 22:14)
Let us pray a decade of the Rosary while meditating upon the Presentation of Our Lord and keeping in mind how God has Provided for us whenever we've been willing to sacrifice for His sake.
Let us pray ...
To you, Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate ourselves – our hearts, minds, wills and lives and all those works we undertake so they may be for the glory of God, for the sake of the Gospel and the salvation of souls. Holy Mother, our Queen and our Joy, give to our hearts the dimensions of yours and form us in the image of your beloved Son.