Sunday February 2nd. 2014                                                                                        Charity registration No. SC 002876

St. Margaret's,                        St. Joseph's,                        St. Finnan's

Feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the temple

Candlemas day


Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the baby to the temple in Jerusalem to fulfil the Jewish law that every first born male child must be offered to Almighty God, and also for the mother to receive a blessing, and to thank God for the gift of their child.

The prophets had long foretold that the Messiah would take possession of the Temple, and here, in a sense,  was the beginning of Christ entering his Church which later he would found on the Apostles

It was holy Simeon, one of the temple priests who had been promised by God that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah, who came who cam of the Church: Now, all-powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace according to your promise, for my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations, the light to enlighten the gentiles, and give glory to your people, Israel

But he also prophesied that the Child  would be for the rise and fall of many in Israel, and that a sword of sorrow would pierce the heart of Mary  - a prophecy which came true on Calvary.

We have Mother’s Day and Father's Day, but today is Parent’s Day and is an inspiration to all parents to put the spiritual welfare of their child before everything else, as Mary and Joseph did. The first way they can show this is by having their child baptised within a reasonable time of its birth so that it may receive the presence of the Blessed Trinity within its soul and be able to call God its Father. Mary and Joseph took infinite care in bringing the child up carefully in the Jewish tradition by faithfully attending the synagogue. The child grew in wisdom and knowledge thanks to their commitment to do all they could for the total spiritual and educational welfare of the  child. As Jesus grew to manhood, he truly became the light of the world, as Simeon had prophesied, revealing to people the love of God his Father for each and everyone, and the compassion and forgiveness that even the greatest sinners will receive.

This feast is also known as Candlemas Day when candles were blessed and people took them home and used them for holy purposes. They would light a candle when saying their rosary, or if there was danger from lightening or storms. The candle was also lit when the Blessed Sacrament was taken to the home of a sick person. At a death, the candle was lit and placed beside the remains, as a symbol of the light of Christ overcoming the darkness of sorrow into the sanctuary and immediately became aware the child Mary and Joseph were carrying was truly the Messiah, the Son of God, the light so long expected. He made the beautiful prayer, so often used in the liturgy.

February

True to form, February started off with a light fall of snow on the ground. There is an old saying: If February give much snow,
a fine summer it doth foreshow.  


Legend of the snowdrop

The flower called snowdrop appears in February and is a symbol of hope. According to legend, the snowdrop became the symbol of hope when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. When Eve was about to give up hope that the cold winters would never end, an angel appeared. She transformed some of the snowflakes into snowdrop flowers, proving that the winters do eventually give way to the spring.

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