by Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara, DD
Five striking points to reflect on from the readings of this feast:
1)Rdg from Malachi: ANTICIPATION--Promise of a messenger who will prepare the coming of the Lord who will enter his temple;
2) Resp Psalm: RECOGNITION--Who is the King of glory?;
3) Rdg from Hebrews: IDENTIFICATION--Christ identifies himself with us by becoming like us except sin so that by his compassion he can aid us when we are tempted; 4) Gospel of Luke:PRESENTATION --Jesus was offered to God by his parents in the temple:
4) A final thought: The deeper message of this feast is CONSECRATION (from the Latin root 'consecrare' which means 'to make holy or 'to devote' or 'to set apart')-- Benedict XVI said: "Consecration is thus taking from the world and a giving over to the living God. The thing or a person no longer belongs to us , or even to itself, but immersed in God. Such a giving up of something in order to give it over to God, we also call a sacrifice: this thing will no longer be my property, but his property." (Chrism Mass, April 9, 2009). Jesus was offered to God by his parents as their sacrifice. He is also the sacrifice of the Father for our salvation. In a way, when we were baptized, we were offered by our parents as a sacrifice to God. How have we lived up to being a living and loving sacrifice for God and others?
Advise to preachers: Remember that the preparation and delivery of the homily is a sacred act. There is no room for mediocrity in proclaiming God's Holy Word!