Mary and the Child Jesus

Spending time with Our Lady during summer

In the Gospels, apart from the Birth of Jesus and the Escape into Egypt, we find two other stories from Jesus’ childhood.  The first one is when Our Lady and St Joseph presented Jesus in the Temple, the other story is when Jesus was older.  Let’s listen to both of them.

Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Luke (2:22-52)

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
 you may now dismissyour servant in peace.

 For my eyes have seen your salvation,

 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:

 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
 and the glory of your people Israel.”

 The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.  Thinking he was in their company, they travelled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

The Word of the Lord
Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ

Do you know what we call the feast of when Jesus was presented in the temple? (Candlemas)

The feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple comes 40 days after Christmas, on the 2nd of February.  This feast reminds us that Jesus is the light who guides us in the right path.

When Jesus was 12 years old, he remained in the Temple, he desired to be in God’s house.  He was content there.  He was happy because He knew and loved God the Father.  

How do you feel when you go to Church?

Our Lady teaches us that:

  • We should obey the law
  • That we should always remain close to Jesus, if we feel that we have ‘lost’ him, we should search for him and find him

Pray the 4th and 5th Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.

Jesus, we ask you to lead us and give us wisdom to make good decisions.

Thank you, Jesus, for being always with us, help us to recognise when we have wandered away from you and help us to return to you once more.

We pray the Hail Holy Queen.

  • The presentation of Jesus reminds us of our Baptism. During our Baptism the father lights a candle from the Paschal Candle.  Do you know why?

The Paschal Candle represents Jesus, who is our light.  When the father lights the candle from the Paschal Candle, he is making a promise in the parents’ name (or those who are responsible for the child) that they are going to help the baby to know Jesus.

Do you still have your Baptismal Candle?

In the coming days, when your family is together having a meal, prepare a candle for each person (you may use the Baptismal candles if you have them), Holy Water, a Crucifix or a picture of Jesus.  Before you begin your meal, have this short ceremony:

Dim the lights as much as possible.

Taking the Holy Water, each person turns to the person next to them and makes the Sign of the Cross on their forehead while saying ‘Be blessed in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’.

Afterwards, light the candles, and a member of the family asks the following questions, while the rest answer.

Do you reject Satan?  I DO.

And all his works?  I DO.

And all his empty promises?  I DO.

Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?  I DO.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?   I DO.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?  I DO.

God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.

  • The Gospel reading we heard, ends like this, ‘And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man’.

What can you do during this summer so that you can grow in wisdom, stature and in God’s grace?  God has given us a mind to think, when we learn, we are using this gift from God.  How can we grow in knowledge? (read books, learn something new, even at home we can learn to cook or we can learn to swim longer distances…)

How can you grow in stature?  Have you ever heard anyone tell a boy or a girl, ‘you are such a young man/lady’?  This means that although they are young in years, they know how to behave in a responsible manner and they are persons to be trusted.  How can you grow in stature? (If you are to do something, do it immediately, act responsibly in our duties, put your cloths away, take care of your pets, keep your room clean, make your bed…)

How do we grow in God’s grace? (read the Bible, pray, go to Mass, learn prayers that we don’t know.  In the resource section you can find a number of prayers, traditional and other prayers)

How can you grow in favour with people?  We grow in favour with others when we love them and help them.

Go to your parish church, or any other church and see if you can find a painting of the presentation of Jesus and a painting of the finding of the child Jesus in the Temple.

If you go to Gozo, go to the Church of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu, there you will find images of the Mysteries of the Rosary.

Don’t forget to take a photo and send it to us!