Walsingham – Purification 2015


As we come to the start of the month of February I remind you that it is the month of the “HOLY FAMILY” and within its days, two honoring Our Lady.  At the start of the month on the 2nd we celebrate “Candlemass,” the feast of her Purification, known to us by its biblical title, the “Presentation of Christ in the Temple.”  It is the day that the Church has set aside for the blessing of candles in honor of Him whom at the time of His Presentation was acclaimed by Simeon to be “the Light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”  Thus the common title of “Candlemass” given the day.  A Sung Mass will be celebrated at 6:30 in the evening at Saint  James during which candles will be blessed.  Toward the middle of the month on the 11th, we keep the feast of Our Lady under her title as “Our Lady of Lourdes.”  It was on the 11th of February, 1858  that the 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous had her first vision of Our Lady while collecting wood with her sister and a friend.  Lourdes continues to be one of the most important sites of Christian pilgrimage in our own day.  This day falling on a Wednesday there will be a Mass celebrated at Saint James at 10:00 A M.

In keeping the ancient tradition of Israel Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord and offer there the appointed sacrifice made by the poor, that of two pigeons.  It was there that they met both the aged Simeon and Anna who had waited patiently for years to greet and receive the Lord’s anointed.  It is there example of both patience and endurance from which we are to learn.  It is worth reminding ourselves that such love is costly as we resolve to follow them in being faithful, in being obedient to what we believe and know the Lord has revealed to us as His will.  Ours is to know that obedience always reveals itself in gratitude, so we are challenged to be thankful.  As we come to the close of the Christmas/ Epiphany cycle in which we have been invited to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus, may our lives continue to shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory that He may be known, worshipped and obeyed to the ends of the earth.
May we always “sing of the joys of Mary at whose breast the child was fed who is Son of God eternal and the everlasting Bread.”  And may Holy Simeon and Holy Anna pray for us.

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