this article also appears in the February issue of the Diocesan Post.
In the movie I am Legend, the main character, Robert Neville, an army virologist
played by Will Smith, is immune to a disease that has affected humanity because of his blood type. He looks for a cure for the disease, a disease that causes the population to live in the darkness during the day and roam the streets at night. As he is going out again to face the world, he plays music by Bob Marley as inspiration.
He says, “He [Bob Marley] had this idea, it was kind of a virologist idea, he believed he could cure racism and hate, literally cure it by injecting music and love into people’s lives. One day he was scheduled to perform at a peace concert and gunmen came to his house and shot him down. Two days later he walked out on the stage and sang. Somebody asked him why. He said the people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. How can I? Light up the darkness.”
Candlemas is my favourite festival of the church year. It is the feast of the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The date is February 2 and is the 40th day of the Christmas-Epiphany season. There is no connection at all with Groundhog Day! It is the time when we bring our candles to the church to be blessed. It is a time when we bring ourselves to be blessed, a time to live as a light in the world. We are called to light up the darkness and shine light into the places where hope is needed. We do this by both our words and our actions.
We live as Christians to a rhythm of life. Our calendar which began on Advent Sunday is there for us to adjust our lifestyle in accordance with God’s time and God’s season. During this season, we examine our lifestyle to see how we are living as lights in the world. As we continue our journey through the season of the Epiphany, we listen to the call for us to make manifest the Christ in our midst--how will we reflect the light that we have come to know in the Christ? How, by our words and actions, will people know we are followers of this Jesus? How will they see the light reflected in our lives?
At the end of the movie I am Legend, Robert Neville, through his blood, discovers a cure that will save humanity and he dies in the process. At the end of the movie another character who is also immune, named Anna, says these words:
“In 2009, a deadly virus burned through our civilization, pushing humankind to the edge of extinction. Dr. Robert Neville dedicated his life to the discovery of a cure and the restoration of
humanity. On September 9, 2012, at approximately 8:49 p.m., he discovered that cure. And at 8:52, he gave his life to defend it. We are his legacy. This is his legend. Light up the darkness.”
Go therefore and be a light on these islands and inlets.