The 4th Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple
“When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, (as is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord.”) and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:22-24
Let this mystery teach us obedience.
It’s rather humorous to read that paragraph. Mary and Joseph took the Lord to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord! The Lord presented Himself to Himself!
The Father demanded no special treatment for His Son. No exceptions, no favoritism. The Law of Moses was the Law and the Law was to be obeyed. God was not about to break His own rules. He came to fulfill the Law, not toss the Law out the window. He came to live our human experience is every single way that we do, including obeying the law.
But notice, please, which law we’re talking about here. God’s law – the law that is always just and right and good. We needn’t ever worry when obeying God’s law. It will always be for our benefit and His greater glory. Obeying God’s law will never steer us wrong or lead us down a destructive path. God’s blessing is always in His law.
We live in a time when there are many unjust and just plain immoral laws, and one day we just might have to choose between following God’s law and following the law of the land because the two may be in irreconcilable contradiction. But that is then; today is now, and for today, there will most assuredly be occasions, however small, where I have to choose to obey God. I may be sorely tempted to ignore or “forget” His commands and then try to justify my rebellion. No surprise – that never works out well!
Time to refresh my memory about why it’s so good for me to follow God’s law:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:7-8
“I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.” Psalm 119:104
“The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.” Psalm 119:110-112
“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165
Strength, wisdom, joy, light and clarity, understanding, courage, and sure footsteps… all the benefits of obedience. God is good!