The Real Meaning of the Presentation of the Lord

Perhaps, you are familiar with the story of Joseph and Mary taking the baby Jesus to the temple after his birth. This event is called the Presentation. But why is it called this and what is so significant about this event? Dr. Edward Sri answers these questions and explains the deeper meaning of the Presentation that few Christians understand.

Snippet from the Show
Our lives are meant to be a sacrifice to God.


Quotation from Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI

“Luke begins by specifically quoting the law regarding consecration of the first-born: ‘Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord’ (2:23; cf. Ex 13:12). What is unusual about this account is that instead of then relating the redemption of Jesus, it speaks of a third event: Jesus’ presentation. Evidently Luke intends to say that instead of being ‘redeemed’ and restored to his parents, this child was personally handed over to God in the Temple, given over completely to God. The verb paristanai, here translate as ‘to present,’ also means ‘to offer’ in the way that sacrifices in the Temple were ‘offered.’ The language of sacrificial offering and priesthood is evoked here.

Luke has nothing to say regarding the act of ‘redemption’ prescribed by the law. In its place we find the exact opposite: the child is handed over to God, and from now on belongs to him completely. None of the aforementioned acts prescribed by the law required an appearance in the Temple. Yet for Luke, Jesus’ first entry into the Temple as the locus of the event is essential. Here, in the place of encounter between God and his people, instead of the reclamation of the first born, what happens is that Jesus is publicly handed over to God, his Father.”


“To offer” or “to present”

Purification of a Woman After Childbirth (Leviticus 12:1-8)

The Lord said to Moses: Tell the Israelites: When a woman has a child, giving birth to a boy, she shall be unclean for seven days, with the same uncleanness as during her menstrual period. On the eighth day, the flesh of the boy’s foreskin shall be circumcised, and then she shall spend thirty-three days more in a state of blood purity; she shall not touch anything sacred nor enter the sanctuary till the days of her purification are fulfilled. If she gives birth to a girl, for fourteen days she shall be as unclean as during her menstrual period, after which she shall spend sixty-six days in a state of blood purity.

When the days of her purification for a son or for a daughter are fulfilled, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a yearling lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon or a turtledove for a purification offering. The priest shall offer them before the Lord to make atonement for her, and thus she will be clean again after her flow of blood. Such is the ritual for the woman who gives birth to a child, male or female. If, however, she cannot afford a lamb, she may take two turtledoves or two pigeons, the one for a burnt offering and the other for a purification offering. The priest shall make atonement for her, and thus she will again be clean.

Repayment of the Firstborn (Numbers 18:15-16)

Every living thing that opens the womb, human being and beast alike, such as are to be offered to the Lord, shall be yours; but you must redeem the firstborn of human beings, as well as redeem the firstborn of unclean animals. For the redemption price of a son, when he is a month old, you shall pay the equivalent of five silver shekels according to the sanctuary shekel, that is, twenty gerahs.

Isaiah 42:6

I, the Lord, have called you for justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,

Isaiah 49:6

It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Isaiah 52:10

The Lord has bared his holy arm in the sight of all the nations; all the ends of the earth can see the salvation of our God.

Upcoming Events with Dr. Sri

  • Jan 31: St. Thomas More Parish Marriage Talk – Centennial CO
  • Feb 9-10: St. Vincent de Paul Parish Renewal Weekend – Austin TX
  • Feb 15: St. Rita Parish Mission – Wellington FL
  • Feb 16-17: Archdiocese of St. Louis Men’s Conference – St. Louis MO
  • Feb 21: St. Anna’s Catholic Church – Parish Lenten Mission – Monroe GA
  • Feb 22: Holy Trinity Catholic Church – Parish Lenten Mission – Peachtree City GA
  • Mar 1-2: Annual Diocesan Conference – Laredo TX
  • Mar 8-9: Catholic Men’s Conference of Maryland – Baltimore MD
  • Mar 13-14: St. Michael Catholic Church Parish Mission – St. Michael MN
  • Mar 15: Bishop Lucker Lecture for Diocese of New Ulm – Redwood Falls MN
  • Mar 20-21: St. Louis Catholic Church Parish Mission – Miami FL
  • Apr 5-6: Diocese of Charleston Eucharistic Congress – Columbia SC
  • Apr 19-20: Diocesan Eucharistic Congress – Altoona-Johnstown PA
  • June 20-23: St. Patrick Catholic Church – Summer Summit – London, England
  • June 23-July 1: Rome Pilgrimage
  • July 19-20: 2024 National Eucharistic Congress – Indianapolis IN
  • Aug 10: Discipleship Conference – Oklahoma City OK
  • Aug 23-24: Diocesan Faith Formation Conference – Tulsa OK
  • Sept 21: 2024 Annual Meeting and Investiture of the Northern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem – Denver CO
  • Oct 3: Diocese of Harrisburg Annual Priest Workshop – Hunt Valley MD


  • Visit Dr. Sri’s website at and to book online events with Dr. Sri email
  • Find more of Dr. Sri’s episodes at 
  • Ascension is pleased to offer our new and improved online bible study programs and sacramental preparation programs digitally to help you minister with flexibility. Go to to view all our offerings

Dr. Edward Sri is a theologian, well-known Catholic speaker, and author of several best-selling books. His work with Ascension includes study programs such as A Biblical Walk Through the Mass, No Greater Love: A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion and Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother. Several of Dr. Sri’s programs were filmed on-site in the Holy Land, and feature immersive video explorations of the sacred sites where Jesus, Mary, and the Apostles lived and died.

Dr. Sri is the host of the acclaimed Ascension podcast All Things Catholic with Dr. Edward Sri.  Together with Curtis Martin, Dr. Sri is a founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), of which he serves as senior vice president of Apostolic Outreach.

Dr. Sri lives with his wife Beth and their children in Colorado.

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