“Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the Lord.” Zechariah 2:14
The red sanctuary lamp in our churches and chapels alerts us that Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament, reserved in the tabernacle.
But if this candle alerts us to the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, it could also be placed next to the Ambo or pulpit. Vatican II tells us that Jesus “is present in his word, for it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church.”
This candle could also be placed in the hand of the priest. Vatican II says, “In the sacrifice of the Mass, he (Jesus) is present in the person of the priest.”
This candle could also be placed in the midst of the congregation, for Jesus told us, “where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
This candle could also be placed in skid row. Jesus told us that, “whatsoever you do to the least of my people, you do to me” (Matthew 25:40). That means that Jesus is present in our neighbor in need, esp. the poor.
And finally, this candle could be placed next to your heart and mine. St. John tells us that, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God in them” (John 4:16).
The Holy Eucharist, the proclaimed Word of God, the priest, the gathered faithful, the poor, our loving hearts… Yes, there are many ways that Jesus is present to us, dwelling among us. Let us “Sing and rejoice — and give thanks!”
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California. http://www.alanphillipcp.com/