Beuronese Murals - The Presentation of Jesus

The Presentation of Jesus in the TempleThe Presentation

The Basilica's mural of "The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple" is stark in its presentation of the Lucan narrative. Luke 2:22-40 presents Joseph and Mary bringing the Infant Jesus to the Temple, for their purification and his presentation. Joseph brings two turtledoves as a sacrifice. Mary places the child in the arms of Simeon, while Anna looks on. the horizontal alignment of the heads of the adults in the scene is broken by the smaller heard of Jesus; the pointed end of the lamp interrupts the alignment as well, emphasizing the location of the Infant Jesus.

Simeon and Anna represent the righteous waiting for Israel's redemption, and rejoicing that they lived to see the day of Jesus' presentation. Both of them are presented as elderly - Simeon waiting to die and Anna, 84 years old, wrinkled and using a can. Guided by the Holy Spirit, these two utter oracles concerning the redemption and consolation of Israel. Simeon's first oracle has become the Nunc dimittis, sung at Compline or night prayer.

Simeon's second oracle suggests that Jesus will bring consolation but also conflict and sorrow. He tells Mary that "a sword of sorrow" would pierce her soul. the sword of sorrow has been widely interpreted throughout the ages. One common interpretation is that it represents the maternal sorrow of the Blessed Virgin during the passion and death of her son. From this sorrow Mary is named the Mater Dolorosa or Sorrowful Mother.

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