January 28th

The Lessons of the Purification

How was it that Almighty God allowed the spotless Virgin to submit to what seemed to justify the inference that Mary did not differ from the rest of the Jewish women, and even that the Son of God was born in the same condition as any other child? Jesus had come to be made sin for us; and therefore took upon Himself all the consequences of sin as far as His sinless and Divine Nature permitted. Mary then, on account of her share in the work of redemption, had to submit to the same law. She had to share all the various forms of suffering and ignominy that Jesus took upon Himself, so far as one could whose nature was wholly created by God.

Already by His Circumcision Jesus had appeared, as it were, in the character of a sinner; and therefore it was but fitting that Mary should appear as one who needed purification. Yet how false, how blasphemous the inference! Learn never to Judge rashly, however plausible the inference may seem to be.

As our Lord prayed and fasted, to teach us the importance of prayer and fasting, though He needed neither; so Mary was purified, that we might learn how essential to us it is that we should purify ourselves from all defilement, if we are to be fit to approach the God of infinite purity, and to hold sweet communion with Him in His temple. It is that we may learn how in the sight of God not even the angels are pure, that Mary Immaculate, of all creatures the purest, spent these days of legal purification.

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