CANDLES: A Season For A Reason
by Maria Carmelita Kasuya
It was Holy Thursday. I left school early to make sure I could hear mass from the beginning. That was one occasion that I did not want to be late with my date with the Lord. As planned, I left the laboratory early, took the bus to Shibuya and the Yamanote Line to Meguro. I arrived about 30 minutes early but eating at a restaurant would not permit. So, I grabbed some bread (the ham and cheese was really good) and went to Aling Cora’s to buy “turon” and had my “supper” there since it was too cold to eat outside of the church. I arrived early, saw a friend at the entrance and we decided to sit together in front. At first, I was not comfortable sitting next to friends because it gives room to conversations inside the church. In my opinion, it is not appropriate and besides, I wanted to pray and prepare myself with my encounter with the Lord reflecting on His passion. Anyway, I decided to stay until I was asked to do the First Reading. Joy engulfed me as I have not done that for ages…all the more on a Holy Thursday.
I went near the Perpetual Help and lighted a candle and as I did, I whispered: "Lord, this is me." And went back to the pew and got ready for the mass. I joined the processional and when I reached the altar and my seat, I saw my candle with its light OFF. I was stunned since I declared it as representing me, Mel. At first I thought that it meant death. Was I ready for it? Maybe yes. Will it be this year? Who knows? Anyway, I decided to light my candle when the time permits, probably after the mass at the latest. As I heard mass, looking at my candle brought a tiny tinge of sadness as all the other candles were lighted and burning brightly. Mine was at the corner in front and dark. There were many times when I wanted to go down and light it myself. During the washing of the feet, during offertory and other instances but I did not want to make a scene as I was seated up in front. Until communion time came and all the candles were consumed except for one…my candle and it stood straight, alone without light!
The mass will soon be over, I thought and by then I could light my candle. But, lo and behold! One of the 12 apostles stood up and lighted my candle!!! He noticed and lighted it. And my candle lit the entire corner…only one candle…my candle lighted and burning brightly. It was such a joy. Somebody noticed it. Without me doing anything, somebody from nowhere noticed it and lit it and he was an apostle, an angel I supposed. And the mass continued until the proce-ssion to the altar of repose. After the mass, we all left and before I did, I took notice of the corner and saw my candle lighted and giving light to other candles!!!! Yes, my candle that was dead in oblivion at one time is now burning brightly and a source of light to everyone.
The candle represented me, my life. There were occasions in the past when I was just behind, standing in a corner, working but unnoticed, quiet but present, patiently enduring, persevering when all the rest were loud, bright and beautiful. Nobody noticed my presence, my work, my goodness, my passion, my capacity and my talent. Until God sent people to notice the light I have and bring it out so I may shine like all the rest. Yes, my time came. People noticed and I was able to shine so brightly that the entire room was lighted by only one candle. Yes, my time will surely come. When all the rest are “dead and done,” I will shine and I will give light to everyone. Yes, someone notices or better yet, God’s spirit moves someone to notice and bring out the best. That is how God works. I would have been like all the rest. Brightly lighted like all the rest. But I had to die to myself to wait for my time when I will be useful to everybody. Somehow, I am different from the rest. But as always and in all ways, God comes to rescue in perfect timing…for a season and a reason.