Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Dominic Church, NOLA
Are you feeling salty and bright this morning?! Yes, no, maybe? More important than how we feel is what we are—so, are you salt and light this morning? Let's hope we are b/c our Lord declares that we are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. Do we really want to start our day by making Jesus into a liar? Speaking to his disciples—that includes us, btw—Jesus says that tasteless salt can season nothing and that a burning lamp hidden from view shed no light. His point is that despite how we might feel about ourselves; despite how we might think of ourselves; and despite how everyone else might think and feel about us, we are the salt that preserves, blesses, and purifies the world; we are the light that shines through the darkness to show his Way. Lest we become arrogant and forget where we came from, we must remember: we are salt and light b/c our Lord goes before us, preserving, blessing, purifying, and shining his light so that we might follow. All that we do and say in his name and for his sake, we say and do as a reflection of his glory, as a relay for his healing Word. So, you are salt and light for the salvation of the world. How will you season this day? How will you shine?
Never let it be said that following after Christ is a casual hobby or a weekend's adventure. Being Christ for others is not something we do when every other important thing is done. Being Christ for others is not something we are when all our other roles are exhausted. Being Christ for others and acting toward others with the mind of Christ is a full-time, day-in/day-out, no day off, no vacation, no sick days, no leaving early or taking long lunches job. As followers of Christ, we can no more stop being Christ for others than we can stop being human, no more than a mother can stop being a mother, or a father can stop being a father. Our zeal can lag, our strength can wane; we can grow lukewarm, our light can dim. But from the moment we die and rise again with Christ in baptism, we are his, and we are his salt and his light. How we will be his salt and light for the world is largely up to us. Our successes are his to claim b/c we can do nothing without him. However, our failures are our own to confess. The Good News is that we cannot even fail without him. He is with us most powerfully when we are threatened with losing our pungency in the world, with losing our light and our way.
How will you season this day? How will you shine? If the prospect of going out there to be Christ for others seems a daunting task, remember that being Christ for others is not just a task, a job—it is that, of course—but it is first and foremost a way of being in the world; that is, BEING Christ entails doing what Christ did but doing what Christ did is possible only b/c you have been given and have received the gift of his death and resurrection, the gift of his Body and Blood. Our Enemy longs to convince us that our faith is solely about doing good works for the sake of doing good works. But we are Christ for others, which means that our good works should never be done for any other reason than to draw attention to the greater glory of God. As the salt of the earth, we preserve, bless, and purify. As the light of the world, we shine out, reflect through our words and deeds the straight and narrow way back to God. Anything you do to salt your world today, anything you say to shine out Christ's light. . .do it and speak it so that everyone “may see your good deeds and glorify [our] heavenly Father.”___________________
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