Burn with an Inner Strength (Easter Sunday)

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so they could embalm him. Very early on Sunday morning, as the sun rose, they went to the tomb. They worried out loud to each other, “Who will roll back the stone from the tomb for us?” Then they looked up, saw that it had been rolled back it was a huge stone and walked right in. They saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed all in white. They were completely taken aback, astonished. (Mark 16: 1 – 5)

Jim was newly ordained, assigned to a parish that was challenging him since he arrived. The pastor put him in charge of the Holy Week and Easter liturgies. Jim was eager to prove himself and up to the task, organised, thorough and thoughtful. A parishioner came to him with the idea of creating the Paschal candle out of candles people had in their homes. He volunteered to take the donations and  mould it himself assuring Jim that he was quite capable. Jim had reservations but didn’t want to say no. Pulpit announcements and blurbs in the bulletin and on social media caused an enthusiastic response. The parishioner took the boxes of used candles home and a beautiful 4-foot candle, with colours that mirrored stain  glass windows, was carried up the aisle, lit and blessed, at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.

Easter Sunday beginning with the earliest Mass people came up to the sanctuary and admired the lit candle, the light of Christ, the symbol of Jesus rising at the morning sunrise. It stayed lit throughout Easter morning. After the last Mass, the church locked, an exhausted Jim went to extinguish the wick. He noticed the candle leaning. Trying to straighten it caused it to implode in slow motion. The heat of the flame was too much for the candle to withstand. The outer decorative layer hid the too soft wax melting inside. It’s not just a candle that has to be strong to carry and sustain the light of the Risen Jesus through the darkness.

All posts