Dear Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s,
It was a blessing this past week to celebrate Catholic Schools Week at Sacred Heart. We are so blessed with our teachers and students! If you ever want to be encouraged, come over to Sacred Heart for the school Mass on Fridays at 9am. Their faith and joy are an inspiration for us all.
This weekend, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. It refers to when Mary and Joseph presented the child Jesus in the Temple. From very early on in the Church, this event has been connected to the imagery of light. Jesus is the light that has come into the world and darkness does not overcome it.
Because of that symbolism within the Church, candles are a sign of Christ. We have the Easter candle, which is a symbol of Jesus and the light of faith. At baptism, children receive a baptismal candle lit from the Easter candle and parents make a promise on behalf of their children to help them keep this light of faith burning brightly. The Easter candle is used at baptisms and funerals as a sign of the Lord’s presence.
In any Catholic Church throughout the world, a sanctuary light is always kept burning. This solitary candle is a sign that Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. At St. Mary’s, this candle is right next to the tabernacle. At Sacred Heart, this candle is hanging from the ceiling right over the altar. I personally love to go into the Church when that sole candle provides the only light and spend some time with the Lord.
This feast day can also transform the way we pray part of the rosary. The 4th joyful mystery is the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. I like to use this decade to pray for people who are perhaps experiencing a time of darkness or are far from God. Since this mystery celebrates Jesus entering into the Temple, I will often pray for someone and ask Jesus to please enter their hearts and lives just like He entered the Temple in Jerusalem. If they are experiencing darkness, I will often pray this decade asking Jesus to enter their darkness with His light and bring them hope.
At our Masses, we will bless candles that will be used for Masses and for the blessing of throats for St. Blaise. St. Blaise’s feast day, and the blessing of throats, is always the day after the Presentation of the Lord. Since we won’t have Mass that Monday, we will do the blessing of throats Thursday morning at St. Mary’s on the Lake (the 6th) and Friday morning at Sacred Heart (the 7th).
Let us welcome the Lord anew into our lives just like He entered into the Temple!