To watch Fr. Tom Hayes’ homily for The Presentation of the Lord: CLICK HERE!
Scripture Readings: Malachi 3:1-4; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-40
Today’s Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple is a Feast that is not celebrated every year on a Sunday. But a Feast that is usually celebrated at a Weekday Mass and it’s been seven years since we last celebrated today’s feast on a Sunday.
For many years, it was the custom on this Feast that all the candles that would be used in church for the year to come would be blessed on this day. Thus today’s Feast was often called: Candlemas Day.
Candles, continue to have a place in our everyday lives and in our lives of faith. Who doesn’t have a candle or two, or too many candles in their homes? And the use of candles at church for Mass and for Sacraments like Baptism are obvious.
If you think about it, a candle gives its self completely to the task of giving light, the task of enlightenment
The candles is consumed in service.
The candle is a symbol of the willingness to give ourselves completely to God.
Today’s Gospel shares with us the moment when Jesus – the Light of the World was brought to the temple by his parents (Mary and Joseph). And immediately Simeon recognizes Jesus, the one who will bring light to the darkness of the world. But Simeon also shares with Mary that sorrow and pain will follow her for her son is to be rejected by many. Yet Mary, as she had done in the past, responds again with, “May the will of God be done.”
You know our lives, like Mary’s have highs and lows; challenges and joys.
And like Mary, we too can keep our eyes and our lives focused on God, if we want.
At our Baptisms a candle was given to our parents, a Baptismal candle, as the Priest or Deacon shared, “Receive the light of Christ, parents and Godparents this light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. Your child has been enlightened by Christ. Your child is to walk always as a child of the light. May your child keep the flame of faith alive in their heart. When the Lord comes, may your child go out to meet Him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.”
I think sometimes that the busyness of our age keeps us from seeing the necessity to bring light, life, love…to bring faith, hope and the Jesus of the Gospel to our family, our friends, our neighbors and beyond.
Every Easter Vigil, as the Easter Candle (the Paschal Candle) is brought into the darkened church we hear proclaimed three times: CHRIST OUR LIGHT.
Christ is truly our light as we live and as we witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ each and every day.
Our world continues to be in darkness at times, a world in need of being enlightened by Christ, the Light of the World.
May Christ truly be our light as we bring Christ’s light to a waiting world at home, at work, at school, in our community, in our parish and into the world.
(Following the conclusion of the Homily, the Song: “Christ, Be our Light” may be meditatively sung, listened to, or reflectively read)