FIFTH DAY: NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
MARY, LADY OF THE OFFERING
Listening to the Word: The presentation at the temple (Lk 2: 22-32)
And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."
Let us try to stand as spectators at this event: Mary, Joseph and Jesus, a family that goes to the temple to offer the child to the Lord. If we wish to translate this event into our terms, it is a little like a family that prepares to take a child for baptism. We have so often taken part in festivities of this kind. However, let us try to examine the Mother's heart: she wholeheartedly offers to God the child to whom she gave birth. Are we capable of imitating her in our daily life?
Daughter of Sion, Lady of the offering, envelop our hearts so that we may belong to Jesus completely.
Daughter of Sion, Lady of the offering, free our hearts so that without any fear we may be exclusively His property.
Daughter of Sion, Mother so tender, make our hearts like yours.
My commitment is to detach myself from something to which I am greatly attached and offer it to someone I particularly do not like. This is so that I may imitate the Mother of my Lord who offered Her Son with a pure heart.
Flower of Carmel
splendour of heaven,
Child-bearing yet maiden,
None equals thee.
Mother so tender,
whom no man didst know,
On Carmel's children
thy favours bestow,
Star of the sea.