I recently had a baptism at St Mary’s in Yazoo City on my last Sunday there before I leave for my new parish assignment in Tupelo later this week. In the baptismal rite, the godparent lights a candle for the child being baptized from the paschal candle. This represents the light of Christ that is being passed on to the child. The baptismal rite explains that this light is entrusted to the parents and grandparents in order to be kept burning brightly in the life of the child.
We are the light of Christ. We have the light of Christ burning inside of us. We can choose to keep this light burning. We can pass on this light to others. Or we can extinguish the light and keep it hidden from the world.
When I was a small child growing up in Chicago in the Rogers Park neighbor, the example of Christ’s light living in the adults at the church that we attended was a great example of faith for me. I felt so nurtured and so encourage by the light of Christ that I saw in their lives. I seem like this light of Christ was so appreciated in our world. However, today, I see Christianity under attack. I see the government trying to marginalize the light of Christ in the world and to make it irrelevant, like the way it tried to take down the lighted cross that was on the water tower in Bentonia just down the road from us here in Yazoo City. However, the good people of that city raised funds in order to put that light on a tower located on private land.
We may face a lot of challenges and struggles in our live that try to keep the light of Christ away from us. Yet, it is up to us to keep it burning brightly. May we never forget that task that is entrusted to us.