We call today's feast by several names, at times almost in the same breath. Candlemas, for a feast of light... and the Presentation of Jesus, for the scripture event it recalls... it has also been called the Purification... and, since 1997, we've celebrated it as World Day for Consecrated Life. Plus, it's the final day of Christmas! A rich treasure chest of depth, meaning and imagery, layer upon layer - enough with which to fill a week, all crammed into 24 hours!
And earlier today, a new layer was added, when I saw a tweet from a school chaplain, which ended with: Jesus is presented to the world, afresh, every day, in the foodbank, working from home, support and care...
Jesus is presented to the world... in and by those who care, and those who are cared-for; in and by the giver, and the receiver. Often unheralded and unrecognised, in the poorest, the most fragile and least likely; in beauty and joy as well as ugliness and anguish. In the heart of creation, and in the humanity he shared, in love and tenderness, in prayer and communion, and in every hope and struggle. Every day, afresh, Jesus is present, and is presented to the world.
Where and how can I present him, as Mary and Joseph did?
Where and how, like Anna and Simeon, do I recognise and welcome him with joy, as the fulfilment of my yearning?