Tuesday, February 2, 2021

 Feast of the Presentation of the Lord

 (Malachi 3:1-4; Hebrews 2:14-18; Luke 2:22-32)

 Today’s feast is formally called the “Presentation of the Lord.” More traditionally it is known as “Candlemas Day.”  For centuries on this day churches blessed all the candles that they would use during the year.  The inspiration for this grand event is Simeon’s declaration in today’s gospel. Jesus is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles.”  He fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of world unity and peace through Israel.

Jesus is the flame – light and heat in a cold, dark world -- but not the whole candle.  The trunk of the candle -- its wax -- is humanity.  Like wax humans have fat -- their pride, greed, hatred, and lust – which is to be burned away.  Jesus, who may be compared to the refiner’s fire of the first reading, rids us of these vices.  Doing so, he allows us to participate in his illumination of the world.  With our lives so chastened, we are rendered sincere.  This word coming from two Latin words, sine cerum, meaning “without wax.” 

 Let us be sincere to all by leaving behind our vices.   Instead of pursuing pride and lust, let us follow Jesus, the light of the world.