The Presentation and the Divine Embrace

An Encounters of the Fourth Kind Video

By Fr. Ron Will, CPPS.

Welcome to this third episode in a series entitled “Encounters of the Fourth Kind.” An encounter of the fourth kind is the actual encounter of human beings and non-human beings.

This series invites you (a human being) to go deeper in your relationship with God (a non-human being), to plunge into that deeper relationship. It is an invitation to enter the divine embrace.

I invite you today to take a few minutes right now and recall what happened when Joseph and Mary took the Child Jesus 40 days after his birth, to present him to God in the Temple in Jerusalem.

I invite you to close your eyes for a few minutes, use your active imagination and put yourself in Jerusalem near the Temple.

Don’t view the next few minutes out of curiosity or for entertainment, but make it a genuine prayerful meditation.

Read Luke 2:22-38. The reading in the video uses The Message Bible.

I invite you to close your eyes and get comfortable. Relax your entire body.

Breathe in deeply…hold it…breathe out slowly and completely. Breathe in deeply…hold it…breathe out slowly and completely.
Again, breathe in deeply…hold it…breathe out slowly and completely.

Let all the tension drain from your shoulders…Relax your neck,…your facial muscles,…and even your eyelids….Just relax…
Breathe in deeply…hold it…breathe out slowly and completely. (pause)

Listen to the guided meditation on the video and then reflect on the following questions. You might want to answer these questions in a journal.

  • You have just witnessed a Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind. Two human beings, Anna and Simeon, encountered the Divine. What looked like an ordinary baby boy to others in the Temple was experienced as extraordinary, as something more than human, by Anna and Simeon. How did they know that?
  • As you relive your own experience in the Temple, what did you notice feeling when Joseph approached you and invited you into the Temple for his son’s ceremony?
  • When Mary laid Jesus on the tray and Joseph approached the altar and priest, what were you thinking or feeling?
  • What is the most special message or image that you will remember from this prayer experience?

Thank you for joining me today. Please join me again next month, for another Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind.

God bless you.

All of the videos in this series can be found here: Encounters of the Fourth Kind.

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[Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. He has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.]

The Presentation of Baby Jesus in the Temple, a fresco by Josef Kastner in the Carmelites church in Dobling, Vienna, Austria. Photo 38542995 / Presentation © Jozef Sedmak |

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