Some years ago now, the Church changed today’s feast from a Feast of Mary, the Purification, to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.  Since Simeon called Jesus the Light of the Nations, this feast is also the day that candles are blessed and for that reason is sometimes called Candlemas.  In the Eastern Church, today’s feast is called the Feast of the Encounter; the first encounter of the Old Testament, represented by Simeon, Anna and the Temple, with the New Testament represented by the Lord.  Jesus is presented in the Temple following the ancient Jewish Laws.  In the New Law of the Kingdom of God, Jesus’ own body will become the New Temple.  For us any encounter with the Lord is a step into the spiritual; a step into New Life.  The material things we have now will be lost at the end of our lives, but Christ and His love and the way we love Him in others, that is the new life that is forever. On this Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, we ask God to transform us from people tied to the material to those whose encounters with Christ leads us to live for the new, for the spiritual.

  …Now, Master, You can let Your servant go in peace!