The Law required that Jesus at forty days had to be presented to God, with the parents having the option of buying him back with a pair of doves.


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.

One time when I was speaking about this to the kids at Mass 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.

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