The feast commemorates the purifying of the Blessed Virgin according to the Mosaic Law, 40 days after the birth of Christ, and the presentation of the Infant Jesus in the Temple. The feast was introduced into the Eastern Empire by Emperor Justinian I and is mentioned in the Western Church in the Gelasian Sacramentary of the 7th century. Candles are blessed on that day in commemoration of the words of Holy Simeon concerning Christ: “a light to the revelation of the Gentiles” (Luke 2), and a procession with lighted candles is held in the church to represent the entry of Christ, the Light of the World, into the Temple of Jerusalem.
Although we no longer do a procession, when possible, we will do a representative blessing of candles. We do not order all the candles used during a year’s time. That would be more than 120 cases of candles. We are always willing to bless your candles and other religious articles of faith.
The reading from Hebrews grants us an important insight. Jesus becomes like us in every way. Meaning He is perfectly human, not a perfect human as He shares in everything except sin. Jesus will die. Knowing this we should no longer fear death. Because we know the glory that Jesus will also share with us.
To understand grief and sorrow, we must walk that path. To understand the pain of others, we must have some knowledge of that same pain. We can never say we understand how you feel because we are not identical. We can have empathy because we may have shared the same pain and trials. In difficult times, what bubbles out of your heart? Reflect today on how you have felt in the past and how you responded. Is it time for a conversion of heart?
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen