15th Day — Mary’s Purification.
After the days of her Purification, according to the Law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord. (St. Luke ii. 22.)
1. Mary’s Purification! How strangely the phrase sounds in our ears! What purification could be needed for her who was the pattern and model of all purity? Yet Mary remained retired for forty days after the birth of her Son, and then went up to the Temple as if to be purified. Why was this? It was because she loved obedience to the law, even at the chance of being misunderstood; she sought no exemption from its precepts.
2. But she had another reason for her purification. She was to take part in her Son’s work of Redemption, and therefore had to share His reproach. He chose the road of contempt. He was circumcised as if a sinner; baptized in the Jordan with sinners as if a sinner; and Mary’s joy was to tread the same path with Him.
3. Mary presents her Divine Son in the Temple: renewing on that day her consent to the Sacrifice of His Life for the sins of the world. She saw with agonizing presentiment all that He had to suffer — dimly at first and vaguely — but none the less painfully yet joyfully she made the sacrifice. She spared not her own Son, but delivered Him up for us all.
Joy, joy, the Mother comes.
And in her arms she brings
The Light of all the world,
The Christ, the King of kings.
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