Pastor’s Corner for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, by Rev. Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ
On Thursday 2 February, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, which is also is the Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary.
The Presentation is when the Blessed Mother and Joseph brought the Child Jesus to the Temple to be dedicated to God. This act of humility can inspire each of us to strive to be more obedient to God’s will in our lives. When Mary and Joseph met Simeon in the Temple, Simeon thanked God for revealing the Messiah to him. He called the Child “a light to the revelation of the Gentiles” (Luke 2:25-32).
These words are the basis for the custom of blessing candles – representing the Light of Christ – on this feast day, which is also known as Candlemas. The most important thing about this feast is not even the intriguing prophecy of Simeon to Mary that a sword would pierce her heart “that the thoughts of many hearts would be revealed.” What tips us off to the deepest meaning of the Presentation is the nickname it acquired early in Christian history– Candlemas. It is so-called because it is the day of blessing all the candles used in the Church throughout the year.
Baptism, Easter Vigil & Enlightenment:
To become a Christian in the early Church meant to have the darkness of despair scattered by this radiant light of revelation. In his light, everything looks different. A dull, grey world suddenly glitters with every color of the rainbow. What had been murky becomes clear. What was a puzzle now finally could be understood.
This was so much part of the early Christian conversion experience that baptism was called “the enlightenment” and the newly baptized, who wore white robes for the entire week after Easter, were called “the enlightened ones.”
To this day, the ancient rite of the Easter Vigil begins with a dark Church and the congregation waiting in anticipation. The Easter Candle is then lit from the new fire and, as the deacon proclaims “Christ our light,” smaller candles held by the faithful are lit from the Paschal candle and the flame rapidly spreads from candle to candle. The formerly darkened sanctuary now becomes ablaze with many hundred points of light.
Candles for personal use in the home will be blessed both at 07:00 a.m. and 08:30 Masses.
For the sick
Let us continue to pray for the sick members of our parish especially Elizabeth Mooi, Gloria Malunga, Andrew Ledwaba and Malefu Mkhambi.
Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ