Annunciation of God’s presence

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Right in the middle of Lent, we’re given this wonderful gift today!

Nine months before Christmas, the Church celebrates the Annunciation: the day when God sent the Angel Gabriel to Mary:

Coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.”

— Luke 1:28-31

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Presentation of the Lord

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Today is such a powerful celebration. Really, the final event in the story of Christmas. Infants were to be consecrated to God forty days after their birth, so here we are. 40 days, February 2nd.

One of the most beautiful parts of today’s readings are what we call the Canticle of Simeon:

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.

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