Presentation of the Mother of God to the Temple

4 December 1983
Theme: The Mother of God, The feasts of the Church   Place: London Parish   Period: 1981-1985   Genre: Sermon

In the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Ghost. We are keeping today the Feast of the Presentation of the Mother of God to the Temple. It is a Feast that is founded on an ancient tradition and tells us that when she was still a small child She was brought to the Holy of Holies, and there taught and (fed) by things divine. It is a symbol which we must ponder upon. From Her earliest days, in the purity of her heart She was introduced to the holiest things of God, to the deepest place of prayer, of contemplation, of the worship of the Living God. And in that sense it is not in vain that in the Church’s prayer we say that this Feast is an image of our salvation. Each of us, we are called by God to come into this deep, endlessly deep communion of worship, of prayer, of love and of life with Him. She has shown us the way; She was brought into that depth, – one of us. Because she is the heir of all the longing of humanity for fulfillment, all the longing of the earth for reconciliation with God, for newness of life, for holiness. And it is indeed a vision that we have in Her Person of what we are all called to become and to be. But from that depth, in the world in which we live, separated from God, not only by the fact that we are only creatures, and He is a Living God, the Creator of all things,   but by our sinfulness, by the fact that we pass God by, that we do not feel the hunger of God and longing that was the living power of the Old and the New Testament – we do not long that way. Let us therefore look at this image of a young child who is the heir of all the longing, all the hope of the Old Testament for a perfect oneness with God that the whole world may grow into the full stature to which it is called… And let us remember what happened next: if we choose that oneness with God in the world in which we live, we will have to follow Christ step after step of His life, from the first wonderful moment of our meeting Him face of face, recognizing Him as our teacher, our master, our Lord, our God, to the moment when He will take us with Him and say to us also: are you prepared to share on earth the destiny I had on earth, to be witnesses of the divine love, and to pay the cost of your testimony? To be like My Mother who was at one with Me and with My Heavenly Father, and therefore, gave Me freely that I will die for the salvation of all. Let us think of those two (signs?) of the life of the Mother of God, and let us learn from Her, because unless we learn to be human in the way She was, we cannot grow into that divine humanity, which we see and which we are called to share with Christ. Amen.

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