“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel.” And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2)
"Mary understands this prayer, for she is closely associated with Jesus in the work of our redemption. Eight days after the Birth of her Son, she has Him circumcised according to the Jewish Law; she then gives Him the name told her by the Angel, the name of Jesus, which denotes His mission of salvation and His work of redemption."
"When Jesus is forty days old, the Blessed Virgin associates herself yet more directly and deeply with the work of our salvation by presenting Him in the Temple. She is the first to offer to the Eternal Father His Divine Son. After the oblation that Jesus, the supreme High Priest, made of Himself from the moment of His Incarnation and that He consummated on Calvary, Mary’s offering is the most perfect. It goes beyond all the sacerdotal acts of men, because Mary is the Mother of Christ, while men are but His ministers.
Let us contemplate Mary in this solemn act of the Presentation of her Son in the Temple of Jerusalem."
(Blessed Marmion, in his text Christ in His Mysteries)
Celebrating World Day for Consecrated Life, after the example of Mary, let us all renew our resolve to follow Jesus in union with Mary, who taking seriously her commitment to God's will, offered with the Eternal Father, her beloved Son, for the salvation of mankind. As religious we too share in that unique gift of Christ's mission to be a supporting member of His body, drawing all to intimate union with Him. As lent approaches may we renew our offering of self, to be instruments of His grace.