February 2, the feast of the Presentation is always an emotional day for me, the day on which, now thirty-five years ago, I was tonsured into the clerical state. Even today, even after my conversion, this remains one of the most important moments of my life, my oblation to God at the start of my clerical cursus, my ‘morning sacrifice’ to Him.
Even today I remember the words which were preached to us by the venerable pontiff about how the Presentation of Christ is His ‘morning sacrifice,’ the sacrifice which He offered at the start of His Life, and which points to the ‘evening sacrifice’ which He will offer at its end; this sacrifice which is a model for us all, but especially for priests. For which virtue does Christ crucified not display? Every virtue is there, the virtues which we must imitate if we are to live God-pleasing lives.
Today I recall these words afresh, asking through the prayers of the Most Holy Virgin, who this day presented her divine Son in the temple ‘in the substance of our mortal flesh,’ that I may indeed trace in my life the image of the Crucified, and be conformed in every way to Him.