Apocalypse 14.1-5; Psalm 23; Luke 21.1-4
Mary’s presentation was celebrated in Jerusalem as early as the 6th Century, and a church in the city was dedicated to this mystery. The celebration did not migrate to the Western Church until the 11th Century.
According to the Protoevangelion of St James, one of the apocryphal Gospels which circulated in the early years of the Christian Church, Joachim and Anna, the parents of Mary, had presented her in the Temple at the age of 3 years, fulfilling a promise made by Anna when she was childless.
Although there is probably no historical basis for this event, this feast proclaims a central truth: that Mary was chosen by God to be the new Temple, the place where God deigned to dwell. Contemplation of this truth leads to another: that each of us is meant to be a Temple.
[I Corinthians 3.16] God himself dwells in us by baptism; like the Temple Solomon dedicated to God [I Kings 8.30] we are called to be places of holiness, places which have thrust out everything that vies with God for our deepest and truest hearts.