Last Wednesday we remembered the Presentation of Our Lord, when, following the law, Mary and Joseph journeyed to the temple to offer the proscribed sacrifice and present Jesus to God. There the priest Simeon gave thanks to God that he had seen the Messiah who would be a light to the world and a sign that would be contradicted. He also told Mary that her heart would be pierced by a sword. To celebrate the light of Christ and to remind us of Christ’s call for us to be light, the day’s liturgy often includes a blessing of candles. The light helps us find our way, but it also shows our deficiencies, things that need correction in ourselves and our society and so this feast is a call to service and reflection.

After Supreme Court Justice Stepehen Breyer announced his upcoming resignation, President Biden affirmed his campaign promise that, given the chance, he would appoint the first Black woman Supreme Court justice. Although one person’s experience of race and gender is not universal, the lifelong learnings of a more diverse court will advance the work of justice. Like Mary, may we and all our leaders be points of light.