Ave Maria Meditations
Mary and Joseph take the baby Jesus to Jerusalem “to present him to the Lord” (Lk 2:22). The presentation of Jesus in the temple is in fulfillment with the Jewish law. Every male child must be taken to the temple and an animal must be offered as a sacrifice. That is why Joseph is usually artistically depicted in this scene holding a cage with two doves in it.
The prophet Simeon and the prophetess Anna meet the Holy Family while at the temple in Jerusalem. Simeon was told by God that he would see the Savior before he died. When Simeon sees baby Jesus he takes him from Mary and holds Him in his arms and praises God proclaiming, “Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation” (Lk 2:29).
Simeon then blesses Mary and Joseph and prophesies to Mary: “Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” (Lk 34-35) Even though this is a joyful occasion you can see in the words of Simeon a foreshadow of the sorrows that will be shared between Jesus and his Mother Mary. Mary suffered with Jesus from the beginning to the end.
Anna also proclaims that this child, the baby Jesus, is the long awaited Messiah. After all this the Holy Family leaves Jerusalem and returns to Nazareth. There they live in peace and joy for many years before Jesus begins His public life.
For the Bible says… “The child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom; and the grace of God was in him.” (Lk 2:40)