Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Light of the Nations

Today is the magnificent feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple which commemorates the moment that our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph, in order to fuflfill the prescriptions of the Jewish law, took Jesus 40 days after his birth and presented him to his Father in the temple. It is the day on which he was revealed to the world as the light of the world, as the Messiah. The old man Simeon, who waited and prayed for so many years for the coming of God's anointed one, was led by the light of the Holy Spirit into the temple and upon seeing Jesus recognized his longed-for Savior! The aged Anna who was a prophetess confirmed the revelation for she too recognized her Messiah!

This morning we began the Mass with lighted candles to remind us that Jesus is the light in our darkness. Here is an excerpt from a meditation by St. Sophronius:

"Our lighted candles are a sign of the divine splendor of the one who comes to expel the dark shadows of evil and to make the whole universe radiant with the brilliance of his eternal light. Our candles also show how bright our souls should be when we go to meet Christ. The Mother of God, the most pure Virgin, carried the true light in her arms and brought him to those who lay in darkness. We too should carry a light for all to see and reflect the radiance of the true light as we hasten to meet him."

Bring Jesus into any areas of darkness that might cloud our hearts today! Light a candle and let it remind us that with Jesus there is nothing in our lives that should rob us of our joy!

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