LIGHT—You may notice a little more light on the church steeple. As I began driving here last summer, I felt that the quartz fixtures that light the steeple had slipped a little; they were illuminating too much of the brick underneath, not enough of the copper towers. At my request our guys had a company out that lifted the fixtures back up as far as they would go, especially on the east (270) and west sides. This means that now we can see our steeple better at night, and so can everyone on 270 and down Olive. Additionally, I noticed that the fine statue of our patroness St. Monica on the east corner of the church was dark at night. I pointed this out, and this just took a new bulb and a little rewiring. It’s now beautifully light at night. Together, these mean that our church and our patroness are more visible to ourselves, and to everyone.
I’ve done things similar to this at other churches (the 110-foot tower of Resurrection was dark for some 20 years until I personally climbed up and replaced burnt-out filaments) because light is important to me—indeed, to all of us. “In the dark” has always been a metaphor for not knowing, being confused and alone. A church should, I believe, be a beacon of light, hope, knowledge, and community.
Another indication of light around the church is the geese. They’re loudly, joyfully proclaiming that the sun’s light is returning, the days are lengthening, as they return to their ancestral living grounds. You may know, in fact, that human light is causing serious problems for our feathered friends. Glaring light pointed indiscriminately into the sky interferes with birds’ migrations to their homelands this time of year. The wrong light can throw them off.
This Sunday we begin 3 of the most tremendous stories in all of Scripture: The Woman at the Well, The Man Born Blind, The Raising of Lazarus. We’re using them, the Cycle A Gospels for Sundays 3-5 in Lent, largely because of our catechumen and candidate for the sacraments. They’re called the Great Conversion Stories, because people who start out in darkness and alone wind up in the light of Christ. Listen to the references to Light in these stories.
It’s very obvious that the days are getting longer—my watch says that today has 11hr. 24 min. Of sunlight. Remember the formula for Easter—it’s after the full moon that follows March 21, The maximum time of daylight. Trees and flowers are budding. Grass is greening up. Will I Get another shot of my beloved snow? Regardless, the Light is coming. Do we have more light in our lives yet this Lent, after two full weeks? Are we more illumined with wisdom, hope, and community?
Plenty of opportunities left. We’ll have Stations; the Dying and Rising talks are on Youtube (ask us for the links). We have 2 daily Masses every day besides Sunday. Reconciliation is every Saturday, and on Sunday in 2 weeks at 1:30 P.M. The light of day will get longer yet before Easter. We can open ourselves to God’s light just by adjusting our fixtures, replacing a filament.
Fr Tom Wyrsch