The Light of Christ.

Paschal candleIn the darkness of the Easter Vigil, we began our watch by lighting the Paschal candle from the Easter fire. Its light transformed our church from darkness to light. The light of the flame confirmed our hope that the transformation of Lent into Easter had been realized.

May this candle’s light remind us that Christ is the first light of a new creation. His Resurrection is a new day for all humanity, a day in which death becomes for us not an end but a pass over into the life of God.

Inserted into this candle are five wax nails that signify the wounds that the crucified Jesus received in his hands, feet and side. Wounds that the Gospels tell us did not vanish but were still very real to those who saw Jesus after the Resurrection. They are the marks of recognition, “Look at my hands and feet, it is really I.”

May these five marks remind us of the great love of God for us. A love so great that He humbled Himself to become one of us and die for us so that He might rise for us and call us to Himself. All that is asked of us is to love one another in the same way. To wash one another’s feet. To bear one another’s crosses of sorrow and pain. To give to one another without counting the cost, without expecting anything in return. To live just as Christ did, who bore the five marks of these nails.

Throughout the next fifty days, our Paschal candle will stand and burn in the midst of the assembly as we gather to pray. During the next year, by its light, our Church will welcome those who are reborn in the waters of baptism. By its light, we will commend to God the souls of those who will go before us in peace to the eternal dwelling place of the Father.

May this candle remind us that in every moment of our lives, in every storm that battles our little boat, in every cross we struggle to take up, Christ is with us. Christ is lighting the way, bearing our crosses with us, assuring us that we are always loved, forgiven and welcomed by the God who gave us this Easter miracle.

Our parish’s Paschal candle is the perfect symbol of the hope and joy of Easter. The Christ who challenged us to love one another is risen and walks among us! All that He taught – compassion, love, forgiveness, reconciliation, selflessness for the sake of others – is vindicated and affirmed in the Father’s raising Him from the dead. The empty tomb of Easter should not only console us and elate us but it should challenge us to embrace the life of the Gospel. May Christ be the light by which we walk in that life. May we never lose sight or hope in His presence in every moment of our lives.

Question – How are you allowing the light of Christ to lead you each day?

April 23rd, 2014 |