This week you will receive The Invitation. My letter in that contains comments on what is happening at Pius, so I will go right to my reflection on our liturgical celebration this weekend.
At all Masses, we will bless candles that will be used in the church this year, as well as any candles parishioners bring to Mass. Why?
It all has to do with “light.” Christ came into the world to be the light of the world; we, also, are to be “light to the world.” Until the revision of the liturgical calendar after the last Vatican Council, the feast of the Presentation of the Lord marked the end of Christmas time, and, because of the line in the Gospel, “a light for revelation to the Gentiles,” candles were blessed and the day was unofficially called “Candlemas Day.”
It is hard for us to appreciate light because it is so accessible to us. If it starts to get dark, we simply flip a switch and there is light. But, before Thomas Edison it was a different story: when it got dark, much activity stopped. With candles, there was a little light to break the darkness and make some tasks possible. Candles were essential to daily life and safety. Light helps a person to know their surroundings and gives a sense of assurance and security.
The point is that Jesus is our light, not something extra, but something essential for knowing God and how we are to act in this world. The light of Christ assures us that God is in our lives and helps us find and follow the correct path through darkness.
There is certainly darkness around us, the darkness of hatred, violence, fear, pain, storms, etc. Christ is our light and assures us that God is with us and, if we follow the light and do our best to pass the light on to others, all will be well.
I invite us this week to reflect on light and how it enables us to see: how comfortable am I when I am in the dark and cannot see anything? Am I allowing the light of Christ to influence my speech and actions? What is one area of my life in which I could move out of darkness? And let us support each other in prayer, as we struggle to bring the light of Christ into our lives and world.