Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

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The sanctuary candle burns in every Catholic church for every hour to let the faithful know that Jesus the Christ resides in that tabernacle. It is a constant reminder of Gods eternal presence. A similar light also was lit in the ancient Jerusalem temple, and it also reminded those people of Gods presence in their lives. I think of that sanctuary candle when I hear Jesus ask the question “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?” (Mk 4:21-25 )I think of that because the candle reminds me that Christ is indeed present in that tabernacle illuminated by that candle. I think also that when I receive the body of Christ that had just been removed from that tabernacle and given to me, my duty is to make that host visible just as that candle illuminated its tabernacle. I am not to receive that body of Christ and become another container that blocks the  light of Christ from others. That sentiment it also echoed in the first reading (Heb 10:19-25). Its  author, Paul, mentions that by the blood of Jesus we are able to enter the sanctuary.The letter is addressed to the  Christian Hebrews, and in the temple of Jerusalem, it was only the high priests that were allowed into that inner sanctuary.Christ allows us to approach God directly, and bring that light we bear witness to, to others.That light we are given through the Eucharist both illuminates our path, and by that light we are given the ability to be a guiding light for others.It’s not a complicated thought, but just something to ponder while gazing on a candle.

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