Read: The wisdom of baptism in early infancy by Jeremy Priest

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a girl in the Temple in Jerusalem. Ave Maria!

Early apocryphal accounts of Mary's childhood, such as the 2nd century Protoevangelium of Saint James, suggest that Our Lady was brought soon after her birth to the sacred precincts of the Temple in Jerusalem to which only the best of Israel's daughters were admitted before, at the age of three, being transferred to the Temple proper.

The Diocese of Lansing’s Director of the Office of Worship, Jeremy Priest, sees today as a fitting moment to reflect upon the perennial counsel of the Church that children be presented for baptism “shortly after birth” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1250). Jeremy writes:

“When you think about Saints Joachim and Anne presenting their daughter in the Jerusalem Temple to be mentored and formed in the life of service to the Lord God, it reminds me of the ‘priceless grace’ we are able to give to our children in Holy Baptism, whereby they become children of God.”

“Whereas we believe that Mary was immaculately conceived, free of the stain of original sin, the children we bring to the baptismal font are weighed down by the burden of original sin. But then, as the waters of baptism pass over the head of the one being baptized, the child becomes a child of God!”

“This is why the Church continues to encourage parents to bring their children to the font in the first weeks after they are born (see CCC 1250, CIC 867, §1). What greater gift can parents give their child than that of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, able to call God, ‘Father’!?”

* Additional information courtesy of Catholic Culture