Can you remember the day of your baptism? If you remember, do you know what really happened to you on that day? These questions may appear simple but they go a long way to describe and define who you are! A popular African (Igbo) proverb says that 'a man that does not know when the rain began to beat him cannot say where he dried his body.' This ancient proverb, like that of Adolphus Hitler, who is quoted to say that 'the man who has no sense of history, is like a man who has no ears or eyes' explains the fact that having knowledge of things in the past is much more than memorizing dates, and if we  get things out of their chronological order or do not understand why things happened, we will inevitably get other things wrong as well. Hence many Christians today live in different conditions: some good, others bad because of this knowledge or lack of it. If you wish to know where you belong, read slowly...

Zechariah 2:14-17
Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion; for I am coming to dwell in the middle of you– it is the Lord who speaks. Many nations will join the Lord, on that day; they will become his people. But he will remain among you, and you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent me to you. But the Lord will hold Judah as his portion in the Holy Land, and again make Jerusalem his very own. Let all mankind be silent before the Lord! For he is awaking and is coming from his holy dwelling.

Presentation of Mary as Virgin in the Temple

1. The feast of presentation of Mary recalls Mary's presentation as a child by her parents in the Temple in Jerusalem in order to consecrate and dedicate her to the Lord. This feast also highlights Mary's "dedication" of herself to God from her infancy, inspired by the Holy Spirit, whose grace had filled her ever since her immaculate conception (when she was immaculately conceived without original sin). Hence sacred scripture making allusion to her, calls her "daughter of Zion" who should rejoice because God is coming to dwell in her midst. This prophecy of Zechariah was fulfilled in Mary who was greeted with the same word chaire (a Greek which means Hail, rejoice) by the angel Gabriel when he appeared to her.

2. Child of God, this feast also remind us of our own baptism when we were presented and dedicated to God. Unlike Mary who was already preserved from original sin (a sin inherited from our first parents) through merits of her son, hence she had her "baptism" before conception, we remember our actual baptism when God adopted us as He adopted Mary, and when we are consecrated and dedicated as God's chosen and Holy people set apart as Royal priests for divine worship and praise (1 Pet. 2:9). This is what happened at your baptism. Hence we are truly children of God, members of the church (for strangers cannot be given a role in this worship), you are holy for every sin have been washed away!

3. Many nations will join the Lord, on that day; they will become his people: In deed many have joined and you are one of them! The criteria to join is baptism, and we have become his people, his brothers and sisters! But is this enough? Mary, after her presentation and dedication by her parents, did not stop there but continued to fight the battle to persevere in holiness in a world corrupted by sin. Hence Christ gladly refers to her as truly blessed because she represents "those who hear the word of God and obey it." (Lk. 11:28)

TASK: Child of God what can you say about your baptismal promises: is your light still burning bright? Have it been darkened by sin, sloth, negligence or lack of spiritual exercises or have it been blown off by wind of worldliness? Whatever it is pickup yourself now and pray: "Jesus my Lord: Cast me not away from your presence, take not your Holy Spirit from me but renew your spirit with me". Pray Psalm 51 now and resolve to make a sacramental confession as soon as possible.

Fr. SimOne Madu, OSJ 

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  1. Succinct. Well disseminated
    God bless the Church!

    1. Thanks and God bless you for reading through. Please share


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