The Light of the World

By Charla Misse

When you enter a church, do you check whether the sanctuary lamp is lit?  Do you know what this is and what it signifies?

I have found that quite a few children as well as adults are unaware of this holy and awe-inspiring symbol. As with many traditions, over time, it can be easy to overlook or forget their significance.

There is usually a single red lamp or candle holder within the sanctuary of a Catholic Church, often suspended from the ceiling or hung on the wall near the tabernacle. This is the “sanctuary lamp.” When it is lit, the true presence of Christ the Lord is within the tabernacle in the form of the Blessed Sacrament. As my son says, “Jesus is here!”

When I enter a church, I, like most everyone, try to exhibit a respectful demeanor. When I see that the sanctuary lamp is lit, however, I feel my respect transform into humility, awe and the utmost reverence as I realize that I am actually in the presence of our Lord’s body at that very moment. Especially when I enter a church during “off hours,” I find it thrilling to see that light and know that he is there.

As we start this new year, you may like to share this reminder/revelation with your loved ones so that they may experience this joyous and miraculous gift for themselves. May we all seek the Light of the World!

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