Today the Catholic church celebrates baby Jesus who was presented to God. There are three readings today. The firs reading is taken from Malachi 3:1-4. It talks about God’s coming to purify the people. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver. That they may offer to the Lord. An offering in righteousness. (Mal 3:3)
The second reading is taken from Hebrew 2:14-18. It talks about Jesus, the word of God, who came to the world as human being to make propitiation for the sins of people.
The Gospel from Luke 2:22-40 talks about what the Catholic church celebrate today. Yes, it’s the story of baby Jesus being presented to God according to the law of Moses.
Reflecting these three readings, it comes to my mind about “purification”.
I think everyone is agree that the purer the gold, the higher the price. So people find ways to purify the gold. We love the purest gold, platinum, silver, and maybe diamond. We love the highest purity! But do we love to be purified?
I remember once, when one of my colleagues criticised me about my personality. He said that I am a hypocrite, just like the Pharisee and the scribes. At that time, I was angry. I can’t accept his opinion. How can he compared me with those sinful people? I thought that he has judged me wrong. So I was mad at him. Later during my life journey, I found that what my friend said is true! Yes, it takes a lot of time for me to admit that I was a hypocrite somehow (my retreat experience is one of those occasions I realized about this) 😁.
Well, I know that most people don’t like being criticised. But what if those criticisms is to purify us? Now I believe this: If someone criticised me and I feel angry, then there must be some truth on the critique. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the truth, but if we want to be purer, we have to experience the purification process.
Today’s first reading reminds us that God come to purify us. God will purify us like gold and silver. Well, there are someways to purify gold and silver. Some may use certain solvent, some may electrolyze the metal using certain voltage, etc. But whatever the purification method, I believe that the gold is ‘in pain’ during the purification. (Can you imagine being charged with some voltage? 😱😱😱)
The Gospel said that Jesus was presented at the temple to God. We knew and believe that Jesus is a human as us, but He’s not sinned. However, Jesus was still being presented to the Lord as in Moses’s law as the sign of purification. This holy baby will later grow up and be the One whom God sent to purify us.
It’s the letter to Hebrews emphazises this. It is said that Jesus will make peace between human and God through His crucification. He has purified the world from its sins with His affliction and death. Even with the fact that Jesus has risen, His suffering in the cross is undeniable.
Then maybe we asked (this was my question also😁) , “If Jesus has purified the world from its sins, why should we being purified again?“
Well, I may not have the exact or best answer for that question, but this is what I believe. Our sins have been redeemed by Jesus. It’s true. But do we feel that we have been purified by the blood of Christ? Do we have faith that our sins have been redeemed? How high is our faith? Can we experience that we have been saved by Christ? How can we see the salvation if our eyes are still blinded with the world’s luxury? How can we feel the salvation if our heart still be filled with world’s desire?
I believe that the only way to truly experience the salvation is by being purified. Only when our heart is pure we can see and feel clearly about God’s love. Yes, maybe we fall again into the sins, but as long as we rise again, never give up on ourselves and never give up on God, we will be okay.
The purification is not made for God’s glory. It is made for us. To enable us experience God’s love. To purify our heart so that we may enjoy the genuine happiness during our lives in this world.
May God grant us humility during our purification process. May all of us never give up during the purification so that we may be able to experience God’s love in our life. God bless you.😊