The King of Glory, in Humility
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the day in which Mary and Joseph fulfilled the Law of Moses and offered Jesus to God in commemoration of the Exodus from Egypt, yet in this occurrence, which was so normal in the life of Israel, something spectacular happened: the God of the Temple entered in human form. This is what Simeon and Anna noticed and why Simeon says his famous canticle, as he was promised that he would not die until he saw the Messiah of Israel.
On a liturgical level, the Mass today begins with a procession of candles, and echoes to us a procession many of us a familiar with, Palm Sunday. Both of these processions remind us that Jesus is the true King of the universe and King of all glory, but they both also remind us of His humility.
In today’s procession we light candles to remind ourselves that Jesus is the light to all nations and the glory of Israel, yet, we remember when the God of the Temple entered with great humility. The God of the universe, Who took on human flesh, underwent the traditional rituals of His people, and was offered to God in the Temple. This was nothing abnormal in Israel, instead it was a regular part of life, but in this case it was truly special as it was God being offered to God, but yet it appeared so normal.
In the procession of Palm Sunday we welcome in the King of Glory, and this is nothing but normal, and it upsets the authorities of Jerusalem. It is for this reason that He is condemned to death, and they believe that they have won, thereby showing that He is in fact not a King nor the Messiah. Instead, the cross is Christ’s ultimate throne in which He is once again offered to God, but this time not in commemoration of the Exodus, but in its ultimate fulfillment, the exodus of all people from sin and death.