On Sunday we begin a new liturgical year, the Year of Mark. Mark's gospel was written to people who were experiencing the trauma of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the exodus of Jews and Christians to places of greater safety. It was a frightening time. End times, the eschaton, tends to be a frightening time. But we are not called to be people of fear. Rather we are people of hope who, like the candles we light each week on the wreath, are light in the darkness even if we only enlighten a small portion of the world's shadow.