First Reading (Presentation of Christ in the Temple): Hebrews 2.14-18
14 Sincethe children share flesh and blood, Jesus himself likewise shared the samethings, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power ofdeath, that is, the devil,
15 and free those who all theirlives were held in slavery by the fear of death.
16 Forit is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants ofAbraham.
17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers andsisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful highpriest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins ofthe people.
18 Because he himself was testedby what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Gospel Reading (Presentation of Christ in the Temple): Luke 2.22-40
22 Whenthe time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary andJoseph brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
23 (asit is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designatedas holy to the Lord’),
24 and they offered a sacrificeaccording to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves ortwo young pigeons.’
25 Nowthere was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous anddevout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spiritrested on him.
26 It had been revealed to him bythe Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’sMessiah.
27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple;and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what wascustomary under the law,
28 Simeon took him in his arms andpraised God, saying,
29 ‘Master, now you are dismissing yourservant in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes haveseen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the presence ofall peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory toyour people Israel.’
33 Andthe child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.
34 ThenSimeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined forthe falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will beopposed
35 so that the inner thoughts of many will berevealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
36 Therewas also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. Shewas of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after hermarriage,
37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. Shenever left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night andday.
38 Atthat moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child toall who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 When they had finishedeverything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to theirown town of Nazareth.
40 The child grew and becamestrong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.