The Forty Days of Mary’s Purification are now completed, and she must go up to the Temple, there to offer to God her Child Jesus. Before following the Son and his Mother in this their mysterious journey, let us spend our last few moments at Bethlehem, in lovingly pondering over the mysteries at which we are going to assist. 

The Law commanded, that a woman, who had given birth to a son, should not approach the Tabernacle for the term of forty days; after which time, she was to offer a sacrifice for her Purification. She was to offer up a lamb as a holocaust, and a turtle or dove as a sin-offering. But if she were poor, and could not provide a lamb, she was to offer, in its stead, a second turtle or dove.

By another ordinance of the Law, every first-born son was to be considered as belonging to God, and was to he redeemed by five sicles, each sicle weighing, according to the standard of the Temple, twenty obols. [Lev. xii.; Num. iii. 47. The Obol was about three half pence of English money.]

Mary was a Daughter of Israel - she had given Birth to Jesus - he was her First-born Son. Could such a Mother, and such a Son, be included in the Laws we have just quoted? Was it becoming that Mary should observe them? Dom Gueranger