The True, Unceasing Light has come into the world in order to illuminate it. Today is the Feast of the Presentation or Candlemas. It’s the 40th day after Christmas, the day when the Infant Jesus was brought into the Temple according to Hebrew law and was consecrated to God (imagine: God was consecrated to God!). In baptism, infants, children or adults are consecrated to God and become Christians, temples of God through which the True, Unceasing Light shines forth.
When Jesus walked the earth he radiated everywhere he went; Christians are to be lights in a dark world. There is a darkness that tries to do the opposite. I’m reminded of the ominous character in the movie “No Country for Old Men.” He was one dark, vicious dude who exuded evil every time he appeared on screen. But those who are in the light must be light and must exude goodness. Another way to express this is to say that Christians are to be salt in the world. When salt is blessed, prayers of exorcism are prayed over it; everywhere that the salt is placed, the prayer of exorcism is placed. Similarly, In baptism, the priest says exorcism prayers; Christians are called to be salt, to be exorcisms!
Exorcism is not about the darkness, rather it’s about the light. Specifically, it’s about The Light. Incidentally, I suppose that this post is timely because the movie The Rite, about exorcism, is soon to be playing in theaters–or maybe it already is, I am not sure. I have heard good things about the movie. But anyway, to be Salt and Light is the vocation of everyone who is baptized into Christ, to scatter the darkness. This reality will always stay with me; it was the theme of World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto… I was blessed to be in attendance.
Before I end this post, I would like to bring attention to the fact that there are individuals who are called to live radically as salt and light as sisters, brothers (in religious orders, etc.), and priests. Consider this a shout out to all of you, including my sister! And I say this because the Feast of the Presentation is also, appropriately, World Day for Consecrated Life.