In today’s first reading the Prophet Malachi tells us that God says, “I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me.” He shares with us that the messenger will announce the coming of the Lord. In today’s gospel, we see this prophecy come to fruition with Jesus being presented by Mary and Joseph to God at the temple in Jerusalem.
At Jesus’ presentation, two additional individuals come forward, Simeon and Anna, who help guide others to the light of Christ with their prayers and blessings. We are told that Christ is the Lord of salvation, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory for Israel. He is the Light of the World.
Jesus does not shine this light alone he invites us to share his light and the love of God with others. He asks us to share his light by being kind, patient and honest with one another. He calls us to do what is right even if it is difficult; especially in a world where people prefer to do just what is easy.
We use candles as a symbol of Christ like the Easter candle, baptismal candle, or an altar candle. Other symbols of lights that guide us are a lighthouse or a lamp in the window. The Light of Christ is the inspiration for the celebration of candles, a Christian tradition known as Candlemas. This year on February 2nd, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation & Candlemas by blessing candles at Mass. May we always remember, as we use these candles, that we use our light to guide others towards Christ.
Ann De Rey