He shall enter his temple
Today is the feast of the presentation of Jesus, in which we hear the story of Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to the Temple to be presented with their “pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” (the offering of the poor).
It is difficult for we who do not have a deeply Jewish culture to fathom the significance of this moment. Not only is this the entrance of the promised messiah, but it is Godself who has come! It would be like writing off to the vatican for a Papal blessing, and then Pope Francis turns up on your doorstep to give it (although of course, this is much better!)
In this beautiful meeting of the Jewish and Christian Testaments we hear the longing of the people of Israel expressed in the prayer of Simeon: ”At last, all powerful master…”! This longing has been fulfilled in the person of Jesus, who on this day entered the Temple, the place which the Jewish people believed was the supreme meeting place of God. Jesus himself is now the supreme meeting place, where we can encounter God made flesh. In the
words of St Paul, we are now blessed “with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Eph 1: 3).