He lights the way to God

Friends in the Lord, today in the gospel we encounter Jesus in the temple; he is teaching the people, and it tells us that it was the time of the Feast of the Dedication. This feast of the Dedication is called by its Jewish name as ‘Hanukkah;’ and Hanukkah is generally celebrated around December 25th.
.
The origin of this feast goes back to the 2nd century BC when the Greeks dominated Palestine. They wished to eliminate the jewish religion and replace it with Greek culture; Jerusalem was attacked, killing some 80,000 Jews. Since circumcision was the sign of the covenant, it was outlawed; mothers who were found to have circumcised their children were crucified with their children hung around their necks.
.
The Temple was profaned, the chambers turned into brothels, and offerings were made to Zeus on the main altar. It was then that Judas Maccabaeus and his family rose up and led a rebellion against the Greeks. They were victorious, and the temple was cleansed and re-dedicated, hence the name: The Feast of the Dedication (Hanukkah).
.
But this feast had another name too: it was called the Festival of Lights. There were brilliant lamps lit in the temple; in fact, in the main temple area, were some enormous oil lamps that lit up the night sky all around. There were also lamps lit in the window of every Jewish home. It was around this time of illumination that Jesus had said: ‘I am the light of the world.’ As we see today, Our Lord indicates his Divine Nature; he says ‘I and the Father are One;’ and when lights were illuminating everything for the feast, he tells us that he is the Light of the world; He is the One who lights the way to God.
.
We had 8 people baptized this year at the Easter Vigil; after that, they were given a candle, and then father said this prayer over them: ‘You have been enlightened by Christ. Walk always as children of the light and keep the flame of faith alive in your hearts. When the Lord comes, may you go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.’
.
This prayer was said over us too, at our baptism. So we also, are to keep this Light of Christ always alive in our hearts.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation