“PURE AND PRESENTED”
Saint Luke 2. 22-32
THE PURIFCIATION OF MARY AND THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LORD
2 February Anno Domini 2014
Fr. Jay Watson SSP
In The + Name of Jesus
“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law.” [Gal. 4.4]
The Lord made our Mother Saint Eve pure and capable of not sinning. He placed her in the temple of Eden. He presented her as bride to Adam.
After His children rebelled and chose death rather than life, He went on loving them; loving them in blood. Instead of immediately taking their lives and damning them, He chose to sacrifice animals and clothe the man and his wife in the skins of the dead innocent.
The Lord always loved and protected his children. He guarded and watched over Abraham and promised him that the seed, the redeeming Messias, would come from Father Abram’s own seed, which would be as the “sand of the shore.” God went to the Law-Giver Saint Moses. The Lord appeared to this royal shepherd in the bush which burned without being consumed. He carried Moses and all the children of Israel for 40 years through the dessert. The Lord fed them with His bread from heaven, His water from The Rock, and kept their clothes from wearing out. He brought them to the temple of Canaan as His royal bride of priests and presented them safe across the Jordan in the blood of four decades of slaughtered animals. Redemption is always secured by a substitute sacrifice and a stand-in scapegoat. In His loving Torah (Law) He gave them 10 Commands. He also gave them sacred ordinances. He required that the first son of every family be dedicated to Him. He took the tribe of Levi, the Priests, to stand-in for these first born sons, but, He still required the people to remember the sacrifice and the blood. Each family had to buy-back [Ex. 13.12] their first-born son with the price of a lamb.
Had Eve and Adam loved as they had been created, child birth would have been pure (physically and spiritually) and no blood, no pain, no replacement sacrifice would have been needed. Eve gave birth to Cain in blood and Cain, the sinner, would later take Abel’s life in blood. Man’s blood is sinful and unclean and leads to only more shedding of blood. Only God’s Blood is pure and holy and worthy to be presented to the Throne of Majesty—the altar of Mercy. Blood poured on the Ark of the Covenant points to God’s Blood poured out on the Ark of the Crucifix—and the Church’s altars!
For God, blood is life; blood is special and holy. God’s will was His way from the beginning, from before the beginning The Son was ordained as the vicarious atonement: “but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” [1 Pe. 1.19-20].
To teach you this truth of the Crucifix, to teach His Old Testament people as well, women were Levitically, ceremonially, “unclean” for 40 days after the birth of their son. This was a “type” of desert wandering and “Lenten” preparation for when the Lord would usher them back into His holy presence through the blood of a lamb presented. Or, if not a lamb, two doves as the Holy Ghost prescribed in Leviticus 19: “…and when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering…unto the priest…who shall offer it before the Lord, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood.” [vv. 6-7]
The Blessed Virgin, seed herself of David, the Guardian of Our Lord, Saint Joseph Carpenter, seed himself of David, faithful children of Israel by the Spirit, obeyed Torah and were led by that Holy Ghost to the Temple of God’s presence in obedience to His Law. They were not made for the Law but the Law was given for them and their life. The Law kills but the Good News of the Christ fulfills and satisfies the Law. Blood was already shed by infant Jesus on the 8th day, and now, He would be presented in the Place of God, for He was God.
Our Lutheran Fathers, before the “Renaissance,” “Enlightenment,” and Modernity’s inflated scientism, held that the Blessed Virgin was in need of no purification because of her own shed blood. The Symbols confess in the Solid Declaration of the Formula [BOC Jacobs p. 617 para 100]: “This mode (Christ’s Divinity and ability to be illocal as well as local) He used when He rose from the closed and sealed sepulchre, and passed through the closed door [to His Disciples], and in the bread and wine of the Holy Supper, and, as it is believed, when He was born of His mother [the most Holy Virgin Mary].
But Saint Mary of Nazareth, and all men did and do need to be purified of their sins and of their sinful “old Adam” condition. Mary was purified by the Christ. Mary was purified when the Angel announced God’s presence, when the Paraclete overshadowed her, and when she carried God inside her Virgin womb. Mary and Joseph were purified when they carried the 40 day old infant God-babe into the Temple—for they had the True Temple in their hands and ears; their hearts and souls.
Too poor to present a lamb for slaughter, the Virgin offered up the alternate two-turtle doves. Jesus true God and true Man is the twin-natured replacement for all mankind’s sin. The dove has always been a symbol of God’s peace (from Noah’s Ark to the Descent of the Spirit at Christ’s Baptism). The angels were singing Christ’s Truth on Christmas Eve for Jesus is Peace—your Peace with the Father. But Mary did in fact present a lamb to the Temple Priests. She presented THE LAMB, Agnus Dei, who as John Baptizer would announce takes away the sin of the world. No more creeping death needs to be feared by you as it was by the Egyptians on that dark and horrible night. The Angel of The Lord, the Slayer of Sin, killed the first born son of every pagan family in the land…but death for sin and unbelief did not bypass or spare THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of God. The Virgin Born Son was cut down, nailed up, and bled out…and there was blood everywhere. There was enough blood to fill every Church Chalice, every Baptismal Font, and every sinfully anemic brother and sister of Christ. There is enough blood to daily drown your old man!
This Mass day, once again, it is the Lord Christ Jesus Who presents you to His Father pure and immaculate in His Body, washed clean and Holy in His Blood of Calvary, and fed that self-same immaculate and Sacred Body and Blood at the High Altar of Peace!
Join the Virgin, you who like her are the Spotless Bride of The Christ, join the Saints and Seraphs by being in + THE Temple and having THE Temple in you. Be blessed and purified and presented in Him and depart in Peace!
In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost