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Presentation of Jesus Christ to the Temple
This feast takes place 40 days after Jesus’ birth. The Law of Moses required that the first born son of a family is to be brought to the temple to be consecrated to God. Since Joseph and Mary were devoted Jews, they would have followed the Law of Moses completely. Jesus is the symbol of the first-fruits offering as He is offered before the altar, which is done in memory of the first-born Jews spared on the night of the Egyptian massacre. Thus the Holy Family has created the encounter of the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) represented by Simeon, an elder of the Jerusalem temple and the prophetess Anna with the New Testament represented by Jesus Christ.
Simeon a elder of the Temple is one of the last “watchers”, the seeker of the dawn of salvation and redemption. When he received Jesus, Simeon finally sees the day begin to dawn (break with light) and thus recognizes the light as the Son of God. Simeon’s role in the salvation of mankind has now been completed and Jesus now “officially” becomes our sacrifice and thus mankind’s salvation.