A message from our Pastor
Jan 15, 2016
My Dear Parish Family,
A successful and enjoyable wedding celebration demands lots of pre-planning and hard work by many people. Yet we’ve all had experiences of some of these people becoming so caught up in the celebration itself that they lose sight of what needs to be done. It is interesting that it is Mary in the gospel who noticed a need. But it is even more interesting that she went to Jesus to meet this need.
Jesus’ initial reaction to Mary’s request seems to indicate a preoccupation with ultimate rather than immediate concerns: “My hour has not yet come.” Mary helps Jesus redefine the “hour.” It is now. The task is at hand.
The wedding celebration the gospel speaks about is not simply a past, historical event. There is a wedding celebration going on now between God and us. As it was with Jesus, our task is also obedience and self-giving. Our taking up this task is already a participation in the eternal wedding banquet.
CANDLEMAS DAY …
THE CHRISTIAN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS FEBRUARY 2ND
Candlemas is a traditional Christian festival that commemorates the ritual purification of Mary forty days after the birth of her son Jesus. On this day, Christians remember the presentation of Jesus Christ in the Temple. Forty days after the birth of a Jewish boy, it was the custom to take him to the temple in Jerusalem to be presented to God by his thankful parents. In pre-Christian times, this day, February 2nd– halfway between the shortest day and the spring equinox – was known as the ‘Feast of Lights’ and celebrated the increased strength of the life-giving sun as winter gave way to spring.
February 2nd was the day of the year when all the candles that were used in the church during the coming year, were brought into church and a blessing was said over them – so it was the Festival Day (or ‘mass’) of the Candles. Candles were important in those days not only because there were no electric lights. Some people thought they gave protection against plague and illness and famine. For Christians, they were (and still are) a reminder of something even more important. Before Jesus came to earth, it was as if everyone was ‘in the dark’. People often felt lost and lonely. Afraid. As if they were on their own, with no one to help them. Then came Jesus with his message that he is with his followers always ready to help and comfort them. As if he is a guiding light to them in the darkness. Christians often talk of Jesus as ‘the light of the World’ – and candles are lit during church services to remind Christians of this.
Candles will be blessed at the TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2ND, 7:30 AM MASS here in our Parish. You may bring candles from your home to be blessed. Candles will also be available to take home with you for a free-will offering. Candles will also be available during the weekend Masses of February 6 & 7.
In Christ’s Peace,