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Saturday, February 2, 2002

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Presentation of the Lord

Malachi 3:1-4
Hebrews 2:14-18
Psalm 24
Luke 2:22-40

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the cross is light

"My eyes have witnessed Your saving Deed displayed for all the peoples to see: a revealing Light to the Gentiles, the Glory of Your people Israel." —Luke 2:30-32

This day has traditionally been called "Candlemas" because at the presentation of the Lord in the temple Simeon called Jesus "a revealing Light to the Gentiles." Candles and light serve the purpose of revealing. We don't turn on the lights to see the lights but rather to see what the light reveals. Candles reveal by being burned up, consumed. So it is with us. Jesus calls us the light of the world (Mt 5:14). We live and die to reveal Jesus (2 Cor 4:10).

Today, bring your candles to church and have them blessed. In so doing, you are making a commitment to give your life and light so that Jesus will be revealed to the world. Thus, to have our candles blessed is not trivial, quaint, or nostalgic. It is a decision to live and die on the cross. We demonstrate this tomorrow when we take our newly blessed candles, cross them, tie them with ribbon as red as martyrs' blood, and use them to pray for deliverance and healing through the intercession of St. Blase.

I invite and dare you to have your candles blessed. Take up the cross of light.

Prayer:  Father, I will live as a child of the light and produce "every kind of goodness and justice and truth" (Eph 5:9).

Promise:  "Jesus likewise had a full share in ours, that by His death He might rob the devil, the prince of death, of his power, and free those who through fear of death had been slaves their whole life long." —Heb 2:14-15

Praise:  Sarah let her light shine in the workplace by continually forgiving a boss who demeaned her.

Reference:  (Are you being called to read the Bible every day during this coming Lent? Order our series on Overview of the Bible on six audio tapes starting with AV 10A-1 or on three video tapes starting with V-10A.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001