The Gospel story of the presentation and its cast of char actions is imbued with a profound joy underlying each encounter in the story. Mary and Joseph were obviously filled with joy at presenting their son just as much as any parents today coming for baptism. The Church greets them with finger pointing admonitions and tests of their worthiness.

Simeon takes the child in his arms and blesses God in thanksgiving. His prayer at the end of his life is infused with joy; he sees that God answered his prayers. He speaks and light and glory — things of joy!

The parents were amazed, not frightened. Mary is possibly so filled with this joy and excitement that she does not respond to the prophecy of the Messianic infant about her heart being pierced. \

Anna thanks God, again in an expession of joy.

Even in their return to Nazareth, the gospel tells of the joy of Mary and Joseph, seeing their son grow in wisdom and the favor (grace) of God.

The homilist, having shared the joy of the readings and the Gospel, then turns the homily toward the local joy within the parish and our own causes for joy which then leads to the Eucharist.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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