Presentation of our Blessed Virgin Mary

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Today we’re celebrating the day when Joachim and Anna presented their daughter, Mary, in the temple. This isn’t documented in the Bible, but instead is referred to in the Protoevangelium of James and other texts of the time.

For me, honestly, the documentation of this event isn’t critical, because almost everything which happened at that time isn’t documented. Millions of people lived lives that we’ll never know about.

But I like the story because it points to a continuity of lives before and after Jesus. He didn’t pop out of nowhere, he was born of the Virgin.

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Our Lady of the Rosary

Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

What an amazing celebration we have today! This feast was begun in the 16th century and has changed a bit with various popes, but here’s the basic message:

With the help of Mary and our Son, we can and will emerge victorious.

From the snares of the devil, from sin, even from a global pandemic.

Of course, we might have to be thinking big picture – including the next life along with this one.

Our Lady of Sorrows

This is a day of solemn remembrance: Mary watched her Son die on the cross.

I confess that I haven’t had to witness death in person; I’ve led a sheltered life. I can’t imagine what it’s like to see your child’s death, someone you’ve dedicated your entire life to.

The image above is Pietà, sculpted by Michelangelo and housed at St Peter’s in the Vatican. I saw it in person about 47 years ago, and it still strikes me to my core today.

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The Birth of Mary

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Today we celebrate Mary’s birth, a crucial step in our salvation story. In the Catholic tradition, Mary is honored as the sinless tabernacle for our Lord.

This purity was reinforced for us when our Lady identified herself in Lourdes saying “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

If that’s true, then her parents Anne and Joachim played a crucial role in her upbringing.

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Novena for Mom

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My mother died a week ago, and Thursday was the anniversary of my father’s death.

I’ve never prayed a Novena before, but I thought this might be the appropriate time. On the day she went into Hospice, I changed the intention of my daily Rosary to be for a peaceful death and merciful meeting with God on the other side.

Thursday I added the intention for her wonderful reunion with my father.

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Rosary to End Racism

Why do we pray the Rosary? Is there something we’re trying to accomplish?

In this case, we have a fabulous chance to focus our energy and prayers on one of the greatest sins our society is dealing with right now: racism.

I’m not talking about the sins of particular individuals. Certainly there are many, but by looking at it that way it’s easy to absolve ourselves of personal responsibility.

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Forgive us our sins

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Ever notice how many of the Rosary prayers are plural, rather than singular?

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name….

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

I have to confess that I’ve always thought of this as me talking about myself, along with others who are also talking about themselves. But there may be a different way.

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