Today I want to quickly give you something to reflect on. One of the questions every person must answer is this: What is the point of pain and suffering? Is life just hard sometimes? Why do we have to endure such trials?
The Blessed Mother today is promised to undergo suffering. Some promise, huh? If someone came up to me and simply said, "You've got yourself a long and ugly road ahead," then my response would probably be "Wow, thanks a lot!" But Mary doesn't flinch, she only treasures these words in her heart and looks to her Son.
That's the way we all should address that deep question we have to answer. Let us look to Mary's Son, who Himself, infinitely more than Mary, didn't deserve to suffer. But despite that, he freely chose it. And for this we give thanks, because we know we do not suffer alone.
One year ago, my spiritual director, Bishop D'Arcy, who mentored me all my life and especially those first 1.5 years of priesthood, passed away. I visited him on Feb. 1st, watched Him suffer on his death bed, celebrated Mass with him and my brother and Fr. Bill. As he clung to a crucifix, we knew that he wasn't suffering for nothing. He was being purified, as we all are in this life. I thank God for the witness Bishop D'Arcy was all my life, especially in his last moments.
Today Mary and Joseph come to the Temple, bearing the Son, and giving thanks to the Father. They thank God for the blessings, for how he works even in the midst of their difficulties. They are truly a light for us also.
Both in Sacred Scripture and in Church liturgical life, The light of a candle is a very layered image, evoking a wide array of meanings and allusions. It represents our faith when we are told to at baptism to keep the light burning until the day Christ Jesus' return in glory. It represents Jesus Himself when at the Easter Vigil we remember that the resurrection is the light that shines in the darkness of human history. It represents the soul infused by the Holy Spirit just as the tongues of flame hovered over the Apostles at Pentecost. It represents the truth and goodness of the Christian who is called to be a lamp shining in the world.
As we at St. Pius Parish reflect on how to be a better light to the world with Christ in our hearts, please watch this video in preparation of our parish campaign. It shows us some of what we are called to be at St. Pius, and what we hope to become more and more as a parish family shining light in the darkness.