Share your light
Part Seven of an eight-part series of reflections on Lent, Holy Week, and Easter
Holy Saturday is my favorite Mass of the year. The readings are incredibly meaningful, the symbolism throughout is beautiful, and I love any Mass that includes candlelight.
As we enter the church, we enter in darkness. We are waiting in that time between Jesus’ crucifixion and death and when He rises from the dead.
From a blessed fire outside the church, the Pascal candle is lit and processed in with all of the people who will be joining the Catholic Church that night.
As they enter, the light of Christ is spread from that one candle to each of our candles. We pass it to each other, and as small as our individual candles may be, the church is bathed in a soft, beautiful glow.
The Gloria, which has been absent from our liturgy during Lent, returns in spectacular form.
Finally, we come to the part where we receive those people who are ready to become part of our family in Christ. After months of study, they are given Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation.
If you have ever been blessed to be a part of this journey with someone, you know that this is a powerful moment. If we have been raised Catholic, it is easy to take so much of what we do and what we have for granted. When you experience the longing and the joy of people who have discovered the beauty of our faith, it is hard not to be caught up in it with them.
As they stand ready to receive Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time, they have been with Him at the Last Supper and heard His words, “This is my body given up for you.” As they are confirmed, they enter fully into our Catholic family and ask their patron saint to be a part of their faith lives.
We as a community are asked to welcome them in. This may seem like an end of their journey, since the classes will be over, and they have their “membership card,” but in truth it is just the beginning.
None of us is ever finished developing in our relationship with God. As a family and a community, we do it together. The truth is that we are given to each other, new and old.
Thanks be to God.