In today’s feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, we encounter Simon—so full of trust in God’s promise to send a Messiah. And to his surprise, that great Messiah that Yahweh had promised would be revealed as an innocent baby boy.
Simeon sings with joy: “Now my eyes have seen your salvation, Lord. This is the light of revelation to the gentiles” (Lk, 2 30-32). Simeon calls Jesus the light. This light is symbolized by the candles we use at mass, particularly the Easter candle, the Christmas candle, and the baptismal candle. All these candles represent the love, the warmth and the joy of Christ. We are likewise called to be Christ’s candles. Watch how candles burn. To give light and brilliance, they must sacrifice themselves, they must burn themselves. If we must serve, we sacrifice ourselves for others.
Today you are being dared to choose light instead of darkness, to choose life instead of death. Every day you are being called to make a choice for or against the light, a choice for or against life.
Christ’s invitation for us today is to shine with a light that is exactly the opposite of the world’s light: a spirit of detachment, powerlessness, simplicity, prayer, and faithfulness to God’s word.
Today we ask Jesus for the courage to say YES to light instead of darkness, to life instead of death at a time when the powers of death are upon us.