Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
We are living in a very tumultuous time in the church. It seems you can’t read the news about what is happening without feeling a little depressed or hopeless with all the scandal and fighting that has been going on. But it is precisely in times like these that I believe Jesus sometimes provides us with a little miracle so we know where to keep our focus. Our focus must be on Him. As storms swirl around us, He whispers, “keep your eyes on me.” It is precisely what His message was for a 5th-grade religious education classroom in Tennessee on Wednesday, September 19, 2019, at a church just down the road from my house.
My friend teaches 5th-grade religious education. She always begins her class with a procession into the classroom with a bible, crucifix and a lit candle. This night started off the same as any other. They processed in, she, the co-teacher and the kids placed the items on the table in the classroom and prayed together. Then they sat down and she began teaching them about prayer, emphasizing to them the importance of their prayer life in their relationship with God.
A little while into the class a boy noticed that the candle on the table had gone out. My friend looked over at it and said, “yes it has.” She decided to go grab it and take took the opportunity to talk about the Sanctuary Candle that is lit next to the tabernacle in our churches.
She began to explain that when you see a candle next to the tabernacle in church it means that Christ is present in the tabernacle. All the while she was holding up the burnt out candle from the classroom. She really wanted to emphasize to the children that inside the tabernacle Jesus is really and truly present, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, so she explained that they should be reverent. She emphasized to them that they should never ignore Jesus. She explained with enthusiasm that you should imagine that Jesus is standing there right in front of you and that as Catholics this means we should acknowledge him with a genuflection, sign of the cross, and a prayer.
And…. when she said this….she told me she heard a crackling sound, and then… THE CANDLE RELIT INTO A BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT, larger than it had been originally! She was astonished. So astonished she checked with the co-teacher to ask if quite possibly that teacher had come over to relight it and perhaps she had just missed that. The co-teacher said, “no,” I did not relight it. She glanced over her shoulder and the lighter was still on the table where she had originally placed it.
My friend, the co-teacher and children exclaimed that they had just witnessed a miracle. Seven kids and two adults all saw the candle relight! I kid you not! She called me right after class so excited. I was so excited too. Just when you think things are getting despairing, Christ Himself shows up to remind us who is the true Light of the World.
God Is So Good
I share this with you so that you can all know that it is Christ who is present in the Eucharist and it is Christ who we should keep our eyes on during these times. This little miracle lets us know of His giant love for us. The Flame of Love is with us.