Meaning of the Feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary

We know nothing of Our Lady's life until the moment when the Archangel appears to her to announce that she has been chosen to be the Mother of God. Full of grace from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception, Mary's existence is completely unique. God looked upon her and watched over her at every moment with a unique and unrepeatable love, and at the same time she was a normal child, who filled with joy all those who dealt with her in the ordinary life of a small town.

St. Luke, so diligent in examining all the sources that could provide him with news and data, omits any reference to Mary Child. Most probably, Our Lady said nothing of her early years because there was little to tell: everything took place in the intimacy of her soul, and in a continuous dialogue with her Father God, who was waiting, without haste, for the ineffable and unique moment of the Incarnation. "Mother, why did you hide the years of your early youth? Then the apocryphal Gospels will come and invent lies; pious lies, yes, but in the end false images of your true self. And they will tell us that you lived in the Temple, that the angels brought you food and talked to you..... And so they take you away from us "1 when you are so close to our daily life!

The feast we celebrate today does not originate from the Gospel, but from an ancient tradition. The Church did not want to accept the apocryphal accounts that supposed Our Mother in the Temple, from the age of three, consecrated to God with a vow of virginity. But it does accept the essential core of the feast, the dedication that the Virgin made of herself to the Lord, already in her infancy, moved by the Holy Spirit, with whose grace she was filled from the first moment of her conception. This full dedication of Mary to God as she grew up is indeed real and exemplary for us, for it moves us to reserve nothing for ourselves.

Today is the feast of our Lady's absolute belonging to God and of her full surrender to God's plans. Because of this full belonging, which includes the virginal dedication, Our Lady will be able to say to the Angel: I know no man. She delicately unveils a story of surrender that had taken place in the intimacy of her soul. Mary is already a foretaste of the New Testament, in which the excellence of virginity over marriage will take on all its value, without diminishing the sanctity of the conjugal union, which Christ himself will raise to the dignity of a sacrament.

Today we ask her to help us to realize every day that gift of the heart that God asks of us, according to our particular vocation received from God. Put yourself in conversation with Holy Mary and confide to her: "Oh, Lady, to live the ideal that God has put in my heart, I need to fly... very high, very high!

"It is not enough to detach yourself, with the divine help, from the things of this world, knowing that they are earth. Even more: even if you put the whole universe in a heap under your feet, in order to be closer to Heaven.... it is not enough!

"You need to fly, without leaning on anything here, pending the voice and the breath of the Spirit. But, you tell me, my wings are stained: mud of years, dirty, sticky....

"And I have insisted: go to Our Lady. Lady, tell her again: I can hardly fly, the earth attracts me like an accursed magnet! Lady, you can make my soul take the definitive and glorious flight, which has its end in the Heart of God.

"Trust that she hears you.