In our solar system there are eight planets-Pluto having been relegated to a sub planet a few years ago-and just as recently as two weeks ago scientists say they have discovered a series of objects revolving around a mysterious center which indicates a possible ninth planet. Of all the planets in our solar system our planet Earth is the only one where life is known to exist. This is because it is in a proper orientation and distance from the Sun. If we travel to Mercury or Venus it is much too hot to survive. If we travel out beyond Earth to the other planets Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune it's too cold and dark for life to survive. It's important that we are in just the right orientation and distance from the Sun so that we can experience its light and its warmth so that not only human beings but all life can survive and thrive. We are in just the right orientation at just the right distance at just the right orbit to be able to live on this planet earth.
Today we celebrate the presentation of the Lord when Jesus, merely eight days old, is brought into the temple to be dedicated to God. The lintels of the temple are raised the doors and gates are thrown open and the King of glory enters and meets his people. He is the light of revelation to the nations and the glory of God's people Israel.
We speak of Jesus today as the light and we recognize that it is only when we are in right orientation with Christ our light that we find the grace that we need to live the life of holiness to which God calls us and meet the challenges of everyday. When we are in a right relationship with Christ we thrive.
This light is also a light that purifies us. As scripture says Christ would come to sit purifying silver purifying the sons of Levi as we hear in the words of the prophet Malachi so Christ comes to us to purify us. Like a laser beam that light circumcises our hearts with cutting away from us all that is not of God so that we can stand pure and holy, worthy to offer due sacrifice to the Lord. Purification is off and uncomfortable but we need it in order to be the best that we can be, the people that God made us to be.
And so, as we celebrate this Mass, where Christ is lifted up on the altar as he was lifted up in the temple by Simeon, we give praise glory honor and adoration to the Lord and we beseech the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts to illumine us with the light of Christ so that our hearts might burn within us with the light of the Lord as did the hearts of the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
In right relationship to Christ our light we receive the light and the warmth the love the comfort and the grace that we need to live lives of holiness, to meet the challenges that life brings to us.
May the Lord continue to walk with us today and always. Illumined by his light may we be signs of His glory to the nations and to each person whom we meet.