Monday, February 2, 2015

The Light of the World

Today is the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, focusing our attention on the moment when Mary and Joseph, following the prescriptions of the Law, took the six-week old child to present Him to His Father in the Temple.  (See Luke 2:22-40) 

It was the moment when the Creator of the Universe, the Son of the Father entered the Temple where the Most High dwelt.  The elderly Simeon recognized this baby as the Messiah and he told our Blessed Mother that Jesus would be the light of the nations. 

Today we can invite the Lord to come into the temple of our hearts and to shed His light into those darkened areas where we need healing and deliverance. 

From a sermon by Saint Sophronius, bishop

In honour of the divine mystery that we celebrate today, let us all hasten to meet Christ. Everyone should be eager to join the procession and to carry a light.

Our lighted candles are a sign of the divine splendour 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.

The light has come and has shone upon a world enveloped in shadows; the Dayspring from on high has visited us and given light to those who lived in darkness. This, then, is our feast, and we join in procession with lighted candles to reveal the light that has shone upon us and the glory that is yet to come to us through him. So let us hasten all together to meet our God.

The true light has come, the light that enlightens every man who is born into this world. Let all of us, my brethren, be enlightened and made radiant by this light. Let all of us share in its splendour, and be so filled with it that no one remains in the darkness. Let us be shining ourselves as we go together to meet and to receive with the aged Simeon the light whose brilliance is eternal. Rejoicing with Simeon, let us sing a hymn of thanksgiving to God, the Father of the light, who sent the true light to dispel the darkness and to give us all a share in his splendour.

Through Simeon’s eyes we too have seen the salvation of God which he prepared for all the nations and revealed as the glory of the new Israel, which is ourselves. As Simeon was released from the bonds of this life when he had seen Christ, so we too were at once freed from our old state of sinfulness.

By faith we too embraced Christ, the salvation of God the Father, as he came to us from Bethlehem. Gentiles before, we have now become the people of God. Our eyes have seen God incarnate, and because we have seen him present among us and have mentally received him into our arms, we are called the new Israel. Never shall we forget this presence; every year we keep a feast in his honour.

Today is also World Day of Consecrated Life, established by Saint John Paul II in 1997.  I encourage you to read a commentary on the Day by Father Roger Landry. It comes during the Year of Consecrated Life established by Pope Francis. 

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