Following is a reflection that ties together the first Mass reading for November 21 (2Mc 7:1, 20-31) and the day's commemoration of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.
Mary's parents offered her to God in the temple. The same thing happened in St. Benedict's day, as we read in the Rule that the parents drew up a petition and offered their son at the presentaion of the gifts. (cf. RB59) I wonder, who was the petition for? I think it was for the parents. They needed to know that what was given to the Lord, they were not to take back. In a sense it is the parents' responsibility to foster their child's vocation. And when they don't, I think Mary does.
Like the mother we read of today in Maccabees, who encouraged her sons in their martyrdom, I think Mary, in spite of the pain she felt under the Cross, said to her Son, "Do what you need to do." A vocation involves the Cross for our parents as well, but they must understand that that Cross is, for all eternity, a glory.