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“Blessed candles go as far back as the time of Moses (see Exodus 25:31-40). Candles bring light, warmth, and prayerfulness to homes and churches. They remind us of Jesus, the Light of the world, who scatters the darkness of evil, doubt, and sin. Often they are made from beeswax, which further symbolizes the purity of Jesus. The new candles to be used at Mass are blessed every year on the feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Thus, February 2 is sometimes called ‘candlemas.’ As the eyes of Simeon recognized the light shining in baby Jesus, we use candles to remind us of the light of faith.”
Source: MagnifiKid! February 2, 2020 Vol. 17. Part 3. Section 2. Pages 8-9
December 27, 2020
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph– Learning Through Storytelling
Imagine being a child growing up in Nazareth more than two thousand years ago. How different your experience would have been from a child growing up today! Young Jesus was a child, “Fully Human,” with friends, chores, and studying. We know from Holy Scripture that Jesus knew how to read and write. We know he spoke with authority and knowledge to the rabbis in the temple for three days when he was about twelve. We also know that Jesus was also “Fully Divine.” This means that he is “God, the Son.”
We all know the story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and how angels proclaimed his birth as they filled the heavens above his manger. We know and venerate the Virgin Mary, his mother–the Mother of God, and his “foster father,” Joseph, who raised him as his own. Jesus was not a regular baby, but the Messiah, which means, “Savior.” Three kings came from far away to bring Jesus gifts and to pay homage to the infant king. We also know how the bad and jealous king, Herod, tried to find Jesus and kill him so Herod wouldn’t have competition from another, far greater king. Do you remember how the Holy Family was helped by an angel to escape Herod’s men and flee to Egypt? During a dream Joseph heard from an “Angel of God” that he needed to take Mary and infant Jesus and escape to safety. Imagine traveling, walking and by donkey, over rough and dry desert terrain with a newborn baby and a mother who had recently given birth for about eighty miles! After several years, Joseph heard that Herod had died and that the family could return again. Joseph also heard that Herod’s son was the new king. The family moved to Nazareth instead of returning to Bethlehem, for the protection of Jesus. We know that Nazareth is where the family lived and Jesus grew up. At thirty years of age, Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan and began his life, teaching about the Kingdom of God.
Parents, please help your children understand the meanings of the words in “bold” type.
“The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord”
“The Fourth Joyful Mystery”
- Observing the law of Moses they take Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord.
- According to the Law the firstborn male child of every family should be consecrated to the Lord.
- Mary offers her Son to the Father, then ransoms Him back at the price paid by the poor.
- Jesus is not subject to the law of Moses, yet to teach obedience, submits to it.
- Mary is not subject to the law of purification, yet in humility she submits to it.
- God had revealed to Simeon that he would not see death until he had seen the Messiah.
- Recognizing the Child, he prays: “Now you can dismiss your servant in peace. You have fulfilled your word.”
- “This Child is destined to be the downfall and rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed.”
- And to Mary Simeon reveals: “And your own soul a sword shall pierce.”
- After they fulfill all the Law requires they return to Nazareth.
Spiritual Fruit: Purity of mind and body”
A Reading from The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”
“The Presentation in the Temple” for Children
For an excellent story on the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, please checkout the book below. The other three children’s Bibles I use do not have this story in them.
Eight days after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph gave their baby the name, Jesus, as the angel told them to do. Then they took him to the great temple in Jerusalem to present Jesus to the Lord. Mary and Joseph were required to make an offering to God of either a pair of doves or two young pigeons.
In the temple, they met an old man named Simeon. Simeon had been told by God that he would live to see the Messiah, which means “Savior.” The Holy Spirit guided Simeon to find baby Jesus in Mary’s arms. He knew at once that Jesus was the Messiah. Simeon said, “O Lord, now I may die in peace, for you have granted me what my heart most desired. Now I have seen with my own eyes the child who is to be a glory to all people!”
Another very old person named Anna, saw what was happening. She too thanked God for allowing her to see the infant, and told everyone that Jesus would be the Savior of Jerusalem.
Mary and Joseph were amazed and returned to Nazareth.
Source: The Children’s Illustrated Bible Pages 194-195
Presentation of the Lord Art Project
Week Sixteen-Suggested Homework Activities
Read “Jesus is Presented in the Temple” from a Catholic child’s Bible. An excellent resource is The Catholic Children’s Bible. pages, 1576-1577 Luke, chapter 2:22-38
Discuss the following words with your children: temple, purification (a cleansing bath), “dedicated to the Lord,” and sacrifice.
Please help your child learn the vocabulary from the Sacred Items Worksheet below: