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The Feast of the Presentation

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

Is there any relationship between Groundhog Day and the Feast of the Presentation other than the fact that they are both on February 2? Well, I admit it is a bit tenuous, but my thoughts traveled in that direction today as I prepared to celebrate the Feast. In a way, they are both about "Light."

Of course, we who live in the north are hoping for a cloudy day so that Phil the groundhog will come out of his hibernation and herald an early spring. At the same time that we are hoping for a little less light, we will celebrate the "Light for revelation" and the "Glory of Israel." Throughout my seminary training, I heard my teachers repeat, "Grace builds on nature." Although they did not mean "mother nature," liturgically speaking, the Church has placed the Feasts of the Lord in the calendar so that the northern hemisphere will be blessed with natural examples of the message that Christ is the Light of the Nations. Our days are getting longer as the sun rises earlier and sets later. Forty days after the Feast of the Nativity, we are reminded that the Babe of Bethlehem is our light and our salvation.

Simeon and Anna sing the praises of God who has kept the promises made so many years before. They see in this helpless baby the fulfillment of our destiny to regain access to God. We join in their songs of praise of the God who is faithful to us as we pledge to be all the more faithful to God ourselves.

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