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Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 382

Why is the candle up by the Tabernacle always burning?


July 1, 2014 at 7:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Fr. Matt
Site Owner
Posts: 382

          Our question for this week was submitted recently by one of this past year’s 1st Communion class. It’s a most excellent question, it’s a very timely question, and it will be a joy to respond to here – so as always, thanks for asking!

          The candle that you’ve mentioned is called the “Sanctuary Lamp”, and it is lit to indicate the presence of Someone Verrryy Special. You might have guessed it already … it’s Jesus! Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus is the light shining in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. Jesus is the Word of God – a lamp unto my feet, One Who keeps me from stumbling in the dark. Jesus is the morning star. Jesus is light, and in Him, there is no darkness.

          Jesus is also the Bread of Life. Jesus is Real Food and Real Drink. Jesus is the True Bread come down from heaven, and the Bread that He gives is His Flesh for the life of the world. In the Tabernacle, as you know, we reserve (keep) Jesus present in the Eucharist. Near the Tabernacle, as you’ve pointed out, we keep a symbolic reminder or indicator of Jesus the light of the world. Both point us to Jesus Who has chosen to come and be with us – most especially in the Blessed Sacrament (the Eucharist).

          That’s what we celebrate this weekend on Corpus Christi Sunday (Corpus Christi means: the Body of Christ). Whenever Jesus is really present in the Tabernacle (which is most or almost all of the time), the Sanctuary Lamp should be lit. If it goes out, then the candle should be replaced and relit as soon as possible. It’s our way of both showing perpetual respect for Jesus Who is present, and indicating (to anyone who comes into the church) where Jesus is present.

          Thanks for another great question; and, as always, if you have further questions or insights or another way of looking at this question, please log on to www.stanthonyniagara.org in the “Ask Father” section of the forums to share your thoughts. Until next week, may God bless you and your loved ones!

 

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Fr. Matt

July 1, 2014 at 7:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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