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Mary uniquely offered up Jesus in the Presentation

2 min • Digitized on August 14, 2021

From The Glories of Mary, page 457
By St. Alphonsus Liguori

The great sacrifice which Mary this day made to God in offering him the life of her Son.

There were two precepts of the ancient law concerning the birth of first-born sons. One was, that the mother should remain as an unclean person, retired in her house, for forty days; after which she should go to purify herself in the temple. The other was, that the parents of the first-born should take him to the temple, and there offer him to God. On this day the most holy Virgin desired to obey both precepts.

Although Mary was not bound by the law of purification, since she was always a virgin, and always pure; yet, by her love of humility and obedience, she wished to go, like other mothers, to be purified.

At the same time she obeyed the second precept, to present and offer her Son to the eternal Father; “And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord.”

But the Virgin offered him in a different manner from that in which other mothers offered their sons.

Others offered them, but they knew that this was a simple ceremony of the law, through which, by redeeming them, they made them their own, without the fear that they should be obliged to offer them again, and to death.

Mary really offered her Son to death, knowing certainly that the sacrifice of the life of Jesus which she then made, should one day be actually consummated upon the altar of the cross; so that Mary, by offering the life of her Son through the love she bore this Son, really sacrificed herself entirely to God.

Laying aside, then, all the other considerations which we might make upon the various mysteries of this festival, let us only consider how great was this sacrifice that Mary made of herself to God, by offering to him, on this day, the life of her Son. And this will be the only subject of the following discourse.

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