What a gull and a crow...

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What a gull and a crow...

Fr. Rif’at Bader

With the Lord Jesus’ presentation to the temple, which coincides on the second day of February, the “parents” of Jesus offered a pair of young pigeons as a sacrifice in keeping with the Law. This was the offering of the poor who put their trust in the mercy of the Lord. The “rich used to offer lambs.”

Why did Joseph and Mary fail to offer a lamb as a sacrifice? This is because the genuine “Lamb” was walking with them and held in their arms and the arms of Simeon, who was righteous and devout.

“A pair of doves or two young pigeons,” as the Holy Bible says, are a symbol of innocence and white colour which signify purity.

Going back one week, two young pigeons were released from the Vatican window as a sign of peace. Yet the world cameras took shots of a big seagull and a black crow trying to devour the symbols of peace. Media outlets highlighted the behaviour of the seagull which is an aqueous bird usually located by the sea shores. The media inquired about the reason that made the seagull fly towards St. Peter Square? Did it know that the Church is known as the ship, that is why it came to kidnap the pigeons of peace?
As for the crow, it is a non-grata bird owing to its pessimistic voice and reactions reflecting malice.

The act was not normal, but it is symbolic where the pigeons get attacked by the pessimistic and dominating birds. This necessitates prayer to the Almighty God to protect the symbols of peace and purity.
On the day of our baptism—the day we are "presented" to God in the temple—the priest clothed us in a white baptismal robe as a symbol of our sublime position; as the liturgy says, he calls on us saying: “O, so and so, you have become a new creation, and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven.”

Truly in baptism we have become young, white and pure pigeons… we will continue all our lives trying to maintain all means to preserve the purity of our baptism… we succeed at one time and fail in another… what a huge number of seagulls and black crows try to undermine this purity.

There are young pigeons that remained steadfast…
others were hunted…
while other are suffering due to the weakness of their morale…
O Lord, as you entered the temple as a sacred and humble Lamb, let us in with Mary and Joseph alongside the pure pair of pigeons… maintain the purity of the white robe we were clothed in on the day we were presented and baptized.

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