The Gospel says, “When the days were completed for their purification according to the Law of Moses, Mary took Jesus up to Jerusalem.” For Mary there had to be a ritual of purification after her supposedly having been made unclean in giving birth. For Jesus the ritual was a presentation. The first-born son, representing all the children to be born in that family, was presented to God; then bought back with a pair of doves.
What might strike you in this narrative is that the priest and all the other temple people failed to notice anything different about Mary and Jesus. It was only the aged Simeon and Anna who recognized our Savior.
Speaking about this to the kids at Mass at St. Paul’s I pointed out the holiness of the elderly people who came to mass every day. The kids said to me, “But they don’t like us. They give us dirty looks.”
But, that couldn’t be true.A newspaper article the other day published the results of intelligence testing for the young and old. The testing found that young and old have each their own kind of intelligence. The intelligence of the young with their quickness and keen memories is called fluid intelligence. The intelligence of the old, enriched by good and bad experiences, is called crystallized intelligence. For some jobs intelligent young people are better, for others the crystallized intelligence of the old is more reliable.