21 When the eighth day came, it was time to circumcise the child,[e] and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 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 23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), 24 and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Just after the oft-told Christmas story, we are reminded of the humble circumstances of Jesus’ birth and life. His mother brought him to the temple for the purification ritual, and they offered two young pigeons, This fulfilled what was required in the Law.
12 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the Israelites, saying:
“If a woman conceives and bears a male child, she shall be unclean seven days; as at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. 3 On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 Her time of blood purification shall be thirty-three days; she shall not touch any holy thing or come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed. 5 If she bears a female child, she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation; her time of blood purification shall be sixty-six days.
6 “When the days of her purification are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb in its first year for a burnt offering and a pigeon or a turtledove for a purification offering. 7 He shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement on her behalf; then she shall be clean from her flow of blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, male or female. 8 If she cannot afford a sheep, she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a purification offering, and the priest shall make atonement on her behalf, and she shall be clean.”
It’s amazing to me that the faithful woman who was chosen to bring our Lord into the world could not even afford a lamb for her offering. So, she offered a pair of pigeons, and her dedicated life and love in raising the Lamb of God.
God, thank you for accepting and using my humble gifts for your work in the world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.