21 Nov Sat 33rd Week in Ordinary Time Presentation of the BVM

11/20/2020 4:01:15 PM
Zec. 2:14-17; (R. Ps). / Lk. 1:46-47,48-49,50-51,52-53,54-55 / Mt. 12:46-50 (Ps Wk I)

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While there is no scriptural basis for this feast day, there is a long tradition that Mary was dedicated to God at a very young age.

The New Testament was written within a community which had its own collective experience and memory of many social customs and norms. Not surprisingly these were later recorded in extra-biblical books such as the Protoevangelium of James, from which we derive knowledge of the social background of today's feast.

In order to attain salvation, we do not need to know the details of Mary's presentation or dedication to God in the Temple. Nevertheless, there are elements in the celebration of this feast which carry a perennial lesson for us.

Thus, in a strongly religious culture such as that of the Jews, good parents would, in prayer, dedicate their children to God. It seems that there was a social structure affirming and fostering that dedication: children could live in the Temple under protection until they were adults ready to face the world.

Similarly, all good Catholic parents will, of course, be desirous for the salvation of their children and dedicate them to God through baptism and see to it that they receive formation in faith.

Father, guide all Catholic parents in fostering their children's faith and bless all Catholic children with a strong and vibrant faith. 


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11月 21日( 六 )   獻聖母於聖殿紀念

匝加利亞先知書 2:14-17(
詠)路加福音 1:46-47,48-49, 50-51,52-53,54-55
瑪竇福音 12:46-50


相傳聖母瑪利亞在三歲時由雙親奉獻於聖殿,此事雖未載於正典,亦有異於猶太人只奉獻首生男胎的傳統(出13:12)。由於對聖母的崇敬深入民心,教會早於1372年訂定本瞻禮日。我們可以默觀少女瑪利亞在成長過程中,怎樣逐步深化這份奉獻的熱忱,直至天使到訪的那天,她坦然接受了孕育救世主的使命。

及後,她在探訪依撒伯爾時唱出的讚主曲,透露了她謙卑聽命的根源,乃來自對主的一份堅貞信仰。當時以色列在羅馬的強權統治下,復國無望,零星的抗爭只換來殘暴的鎮壓。但瑪利亞堅信天主會推下權勢者,以自己的仁慈施恩於世。這份信念一直鼓勵著飽受壓迫的人民,不要輕言放棄。

如果說聖母的信德超出凡人所能效法,且聽耶穌怎樣說:「誰遵行我在天之父的意旨,他就是我的兄弟、姊妹和母親。」原來我們每人都有同樣的恩寵,只在乎自己如何回應。

主,感謝祢召選聖母作為我們的表率,願我一生學習她那堅定不移的信德。


DAILY READINGS

PRAYING WITH THE CHURCH
Pope Francis urges reconciliation in message to Church in China
HOW TO PRAY WITH SHALOM
(theology.org.hk)

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