A Light In The Darkness

On April 17, 2013 by Jamy Shaffer

A facebook friend gave me a jolt of inspiration for this post.  What to post about following the latest in what seems to be a string of tragedies in the past months?  Something that will hopefully provide a source of light in the wake of the darkness.  In yesterday’s turmoil taking place at the Boston Marathon, two young ladies whom I am acquainted with were mere blocks from the scene.  Kylee was actually one of the runners who finished and was inside her hotel room at the time of the explosions.  Sarah was just blocks away from the event at her workplace.  Thankfully, they were not among the hundreds injured in the devastating scene.  Sarah sent in a piece to the local newspaper which was printed today.

This past Sunday, my nephew Noah joined his 21 fellow second grade students as they made their First Holy Communion.  One of the seven sacraments which prayerfully lead them each into a deeper relationship with Christ through the receiving of His most precious body and blood.  The mass may take slightly longer than usual but well worth it to be part of the journey these little boys and girls embarked on to learn about the (Catholic) celebration of the Eucharist.  Yes, I am fully aware that different Christian denominations view the sacrament differently… no one way by any means the “correct” way.  Another aspect of religion that is so intriguing…. learning the differences.  As a member of the Catholic faith, I believe that the bread and wine brought to the altar during mass is changed into the body and blood of Christ.

At the beginning of mass, each of the twenty-one communicants presented a symbol of their journey.  Noah had a framed poster on which as printed the Apostle’s Creed.  A prayer which even I did not learn growing up and have to look at whenever the rosary is recited.  Later, a number of the children offered petitions.  Finally after receiving communion, the group performed a delightful song and each received a lighted candle which they carried back to their pew.  I pray that these children and all like them never let those candles go out and that they let it burn bright for Christ in the face of the darkness which this world so often presents to us all.  Luke 1:79

During Father DAVE’S sermon (I made a small snafu the last time I song lead when I asked the congregation to welcome Father Steve…. two priests ago…. oops), he made note of his relationship with his goddaughter.  Every year for her birthday or Christmas, he does something special to commemorate the special day.  The first few years, it seemed rather easy to purchase a doll or something that would bring a smile to her face.  As she aged, it seemed more difficult until he asked the girl’s mother what he should do.  Just spending time with her on these and other eventful days would be the perfect gift.  So a movie, dinner, shopping, or other special moments have been the way of things.  He brought a chuckle from those gathered when he told what a sacrifice it was to sit through a few of the movies.

May we pray that we learn from the significant twenty-one lighted candles and let our own light shine in the face of whatever darkness may enter our lives.  And may the First Communicants come and continue to form a meaningful union with God.

Noah James preparing for his First Communion Day

Noah James preparing for his First Communion Day



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