Father’s Column – January 31, 2021

Posted on January 31, 2021

Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!

I am happy to finally be able to say that the priestly ordination of Bro. Brent & Bro. Henry will be on March 19 at Old St. Mary’s. Mass will begin at 5:30 p.m. They will have their first Solemn Masses in April after Easter. A reception will be held sometime in the summer.

This coming Tuesday we will celebrate Candlemas. This feast is also called the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. It is an ancient feast celebrated forty days after Christmas when Our Lady completed the rites for ritual purity.

Our Lady submitted to the rites of purification in her humility even though she was immaculately conceived. Even though she never sinned her entire life. Even though Our Lord was miraculously conceived by a virgin, who was and remained a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Christ. Our Lady still made the trip to the Temple to complete the rites as prescribed by the law.

What an example to us. So often, we believe we are so entitled to this or that. We believe that certain activities may be beneath us. We are then presented with the example of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, who did not put her nose up to rites that were unnecessary for her to complete.
Our Lady is the example par excellence of what it means to believe in God, do as He commands, and place our hope in Him alone. May we strive to follow her example so that we may be found worthy of Heaven.

At the Candlemas Mass, candles are blessed. This is done because of what Simeon says in the Gospel, reffering to Christ as a “light of revelation to the Gentiles.” We bless these lights that will give us light, hoping that the light of faith will burn brightly within us. Christ is the light. He came to dispel the darkness, literally and figuratively.

In our Baptism, we were also given a lit candle, a flame that symbolized the flame of faith given to us, that we are to protect and to allow to burn brightly. We so often prefer darkness, the darkness of the intellect, moral choices, ignorance. The Lord has come in order to give light to all the dark places of the world and within ourselves. May we not fear the light that He brings because it ultimately leads us to eternal life. Without this light, we would never find the way to Heaven.

On this Candlemas Day, may we take these blessed candles to keep in our homes. But more importantly, may we be faithful to what they symbolize, to keep burning brightly within us the light of Christ. May we allow Him to guide our intellects, our faith, our conscience, our behavior, all that we do. For through each of us, the light of Christ can truly enflame the whole world with the love of God. Leading not just us into eternity, but hopefully, many others who otherwise may not have heard the name of Christ! Have a blessed week ahead!

 

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