Commentary on Father Médaille's Contemplation on the Mystery of the Presentation

This mystery of the life of Jesus recounts for us Jesus' first journey up to Jerusalem. This time to fulfill the Law that 40 days after his birth, he is offered to God as Mary's firstborn. We see here Jesus' self-offering, given to God. He is all-given to His Father, all-poured out in a desire to be all for His Father. It is not just this one altar offering but a continual offering of himself to God, his Father.

Why so admirable? Jesus has come up to Jerusalem, the city of promise and it is receiving in its arms for the first time its Promised Deliverer. God is coming to purify His temple and those who greet him, Anna and Simeon, are not even the officials or the chief religious leaders of the people. There are just a holy man and a holy woman who have been "waiting" for this day. These two represent the poor of Yahweh who have been waiting patiently for the "consolation of Israel." These "poor ones", "the anawim" recognize Jesus as the Promised One.

And once again, Jesus is hidden. The divinity of his great works and mission are not made visible here. "You sacrificed a thousand beautiful deeds which were present in your mind... and which might have been the beginning of your preaching. "No, it's not the time. You sacrifice your dream. You surrender to the "kairos", the right time, the moment when God will again bring you up to Jerusalem to carry out the great act of salvation and deliverance for all people. It's simply not the time! You chose to remain dependent upon the Father's will. You surrender to the human process of growth and development. You are but a 40 day old infant and you contain all your grandeur and power within a few pounds of flesh wrapped in a blanket and carried by your mother into this House of God. Your littleness and your hiddenness teach us to respect and love the pedagogical pace of the Father with us as we too must pass through the stages of physical, mental, moral and spiritual growth.

"There is a season for everything..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Father Médaille was also struck in this mystery by the tremendous sacrifice of will on Jesus' part. He gives up his will, his own wishes, his own desires, to be all for His Father's will. In imitation of Him, might we not also be helped to sacrifice our own will, our own wishes and surrender these to the will and wishes of our Father. "No matter how right they may seem to me... and in fact may be." Father Médaille's discernment principle is clear.

One sign of good discernment is always that one's own
listening to God will not contradict one's obedience to one's
superiors/spouse. Both are to be listening to the same spirit.
Eventually the direction will be clear to both parties.
"Obedience" means "to listen well."


This is a marvelous "spiritual exercise" of self-emptying to return to in times of interior struggle. To let go control, to let go my will, my plans, to let go my timing - these are major strippings for the self - and they require prolonged prayer to accomplish the desired detachment. This emptying of one's will is, with time, filled with God's will, with God's plan and with acceptance of God's timing. Such a sacrifice made in love bears a marvelous peace and rich hundredfold in one's life and ministry.

Celebrate this "knowing" with your own ritual passage. Honour the Simeon's and Anna's in your life that have "prophecized" your true self's emerging.