Today is Candlemas Day and today candles are blessed in every church. These candles will be lit and are lit at nearly every spiritual gathering that takes place in a church. I took our photo for today last night and the only light in the room was this candle. It’s flame is strong and bright and the main reason for this is because it is 100% beeswax. It creates a beautiful rich flame.

Candles come in all shapes and sizes. The cheaper the candle, the higher the chance that lots of artificial ingredients have been added to make it appear like a candle. Also those fragrance candles are often just mixed with cheap chemicals and you then are breathing in all these chemicals. When you compare them to beeswax candles there really isn’t anything to compare. Beeswax candles are just nature’s gift to us. When you blow out a beeswax candle, you also get a beautiful bee smell in your home afterwards.

Candles also have a deep spiritual meaning. We live in a world where darkness can often dominate, with bad news often making the headlines. This can lead to a complete imbalance. We need light and good news to balance out the darkness.

The light is also symbolic of the light of Jesus. He encouraged people to let their light shine, to be proud of their light and to know that the light is always near, even when it seems darkness has the upper hand. He is very much our light too.

I hope Candlemas Day will be a reminder how special your light is. Be proud of it. Let it shine and why not let it shine today.

On This Day

On February 2nd 1990, South African President F.W de Klerk lifted the 30-year ban on the African National Congress, resulting in the release from prison of Nelson Mandela and marked the beginning of the end of apartheid.

On February 2nd 2020 there was a Palindrome Day: the date 02022020 read the same forward and backward

Birthdays Today

Shakira (Singer) is 46

Billy Morgan (Cork GAA legend) is 78

Interesting Quote For Today

“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” ~Maya Angelou

Did You Know

Did you know that a candle should not produce smoke when burning. If it does smoke then it means that the wick is just too long! It is easy to fix, just put the flame out, wait for the wick to cool and trim it to about 5/6mm long.

Thought For The Week

“Happy the pure in heart, they shall see God. Happy the peacemakers, they shall be called sons and daughters of God.”  Matthew 5:6

 We all have seen a fireworks display at some stage. We marvel at its beauty, colour and energy. You can never predict the sequence of a fireworks display. It is a beautiful display of light and colour. We forget many things but we never forget a fireworks display. 

The Beatitudes are a bit like a fireworks display. They stand out as something very different and are also colourful. The Beatitudes may be complex and hard to live out but they are also very beautiful. Jesus was revolutionary in his thinking. He thoroughly disliked the old story and wanted to embrace and welcome the new story where every person was loved, cherished and celebrated. 

Jesus shared the Beatitudes as signposts to a better way of living, to a new way of doing things and most important to bring the best out in each of us. When Jesus shared the Beatitudes, people believed that if you were rich and powerful God was rewarding you and if you were poor, hungry and sick then God was punishing you.

Such thinking upset Jesus, it belonged to the old story. He was determined to change the way people thought about themselves and he wanted to bring in a new story that they could understand. The Beatitudes are the new story. 

They have inspired people like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. They have also inspired Pope Francis. He recently said: “A person who thinks only about building walls wherever they may be and not building bridges is not a Christian.” There are lots of walls being built in the world we live in today and not enough bridges. 

The Beatitudes encourage us to look at the new story. Walls block, divide and keep people apart but bridges connect, make life better and include more. Jesus is saying that if life is difficult for you right now, you are my priority, you are going to be first, you deserve the best of everything. 

Jesus talks about the poor and the hungry. But so many of us are also spiritually poor. People’s spirits are low, they feel discouraged by the state of the country and the world. Their sense of hope and optimism is low. Again the Beatitudes speak to us here as well. They remind us to begin believing in ourselves again, to celebrate every bit of good news in your life no matter how small. 

We are called to be people of the Beatitudes, to have the courage that Jesus did, to stand up for everything good and beautiful about you and to begin to believe in yourself again.  The new story for Jesus was where every person was loved, cherished and celebrated. Let the new story begin in some way for you also.

The Thought For The Week is updated each Monday