This Sunday is usually the 4th Sunday of the Ordinary Time and therefore we were expected to continue meditating the Gospel of Matthew. Instead, since it is the 2nd February, we celebrate the presentation of the Lord Jesus in the Temple by Joseph and Mary, after the latter’s 40 days purification. It has been only Luke who recorded these two events. In our case we focus only on Jesus’s presentation in the Temple.
The feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple has been given the name of Hypapante or “to meet”. In the Eastern Church it is still known by this name because when Jesus was taken in the Temple he met His Father, and Simeon, and Anna, and the Jewish People. But especially through Simeon and Anna Jesus met (1) those who believed in him, (2) were happy with his coming among us and (3) who proclaimed him as the light who enlightens humanity and as the glory of the Chosen People.
When the Society asked the Archbishop of Malta, Mgr Joseph Mercieca, to start the Cause of Beatification of the Founder, it presented his faith in this way:
The Servant of God lived in a spirit of total faith in Christ, true God and true Man. All his interior life was built on this faith. His life and all the work he accomplished are a clear manifestation of the way he identified with the Son of God made man. So that every day of his life it was his conscious aim to increase within him this sense of personal intimacy and union with Jesus Christ. At the same time he accomplished the mission entrusted to him with the utmost faithfulness. These truths can still be verified in the clearest way possible with special reference to the sermons written by him. From his youth to the last day of his life, he did nothing else but take all his brothers closer to Christ.
In the reflections we shared with you on Christmas Day it was quite clear how much happy was Joseph De Piro with the coming of the Lord Jesus among us. And he had reason to be joyful, because “… God came down amongst us …”, “… the divine love descended from heaven …” and “… the almighty God descended from heaven to become man amongst us …”.
De Piro did not keep Jesus Christ for himself; he was so much filled with the Son of God made man that he continuously wished to share Him with all. For Joseph De Piro faith in Jesus Christ was:
the civilisation and the maturation of the human being as a whole;
that which introduces liberty in the human society; and
that which gives life and light to humanity.