Theme: JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF SALVATION FOR ALL PEOPLES!
- Malachi 3:1-4;
- Psalm 23:7-10. R/ v. 8;
- Hebrews 2:14-18
- Luke 2:22-40 (Shorter form, Luke 2:22-32)
Today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord! Forty days ago we celebrated Christmas, today we celebrate the feast of the Presentation of the Lord! The gospel today tells us about the presentation of the Lord in the Temple. More importantly, the gospel tells us that the Lord is the light of salvation for all peoples, pagans and Jews! Thus we read in the gospel today:
“My eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.” (Lk 2:30-32; SM)
The second reading tells us that Jesus is the high priest who saves us from the devil and from sin and death! The first reading tells us that he will enter his Temple and burn away our sins with his fire! The fire of the Holy Spirit! The fire of God’s love! Finally the responsorial psalm tells us to welcome him into the Temple as the king of glory! Thus we responded four times:
“Who is the king of glory? It is the Lord.” (Ps 23:8; SM)
Today we welcome the Lord with lighted candles, because the Lord is the light of salvation for all peoples! Again, light in the New Testament symbolizes 3 things (NJB; Jn 8:12b):
(1) Light symbolizes faith in God as opposed to unbelief which is darkness.
(2) Light symbolizes life, happiness and contentment as opposed to death, misery and unhappiness which is darkness.
(3) Light symbolizes good as opposed to evil which is darkness.
More importantly, the 3 themes are related, that is, with faith in God we receive life from God and the life from God is good, because God is good. In fact Jesus tells us that only God is good!
Most importantly, in the end, light will overcome darkness, faith will overcome unbelief, life will overcome death, and good will overcome evil; because God has overcome the devil in Jesus Christ and God continues to overcome the devil in the Holy Spirit until the end of time when God will overcome the devil completely, totally and finally! Then will come the end of the world, that is, the end of the evil world, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in glory and the salvation of the whole world!
Today in the Eucharist the Lord enters our Church! He enters our Church as high priest and Lamb of God, to save us from the devil and from sin and death! He purifies us from our sins with the fire of the Holy Spirit, the fire of God’s love! Today we welcome the Lord into our Church and into our hearts in Holy Communion! We welcome the Lord with lighted candles because the Lord is the light of salvation for all peoples! Today we bless the candles for use for the whole Liturgical Year! Candles are symbols of Christ who is the light of the world (Jn 8:12)! God bless you! Amen!