Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!
Back in the hippie 1970’s, Stephen Schwartz wrote songs for the musical “Godspell” (an old English word for “gospel”), based on the Gospel of Matthew. In one song, Jesus and his disciples sing: You are the salt of the earth / You are the salt of the earth. But if that salt has lost its flavor, it ain’t got much in its favor. You can’t have that fault and be the salt of the earth!
The images of salt and light are so familiar to us, it can help us to see and hear ancient truth expressed in new words or set to music. Salt was greatly valued in the time of Jesus, because it was connected with purity, preservation, and flavor.
When Jesus speaks of the disciples and us needing to be salt for the world, he is thinking of all three of these qualities. We are being asked to set a very high standard of purity, honest and truthfulness. Secondly, salt was used to preserve food from corruption and decay, and a Christian is to be a “cleansing antiseptic” in a society that desperately seeks guidance. And, finally, salt gives zest and flavor—no one can replace the unique “flavor” we bring to life.
Then there are Jesus’ quite sobering but thrilling words: “You are the light of the world!” Not, “try to be” or “Maybe someday you will be.” No, belonging to Christ means that we do not produce our own light—Christ is THE light! And we are to shine for all the world to see! Tall order, but we are to make Christ’s light visible to all plants, animals, and people in our lives.
Does your face radiate the message, “Christ is lighting me from within?” Be a revolutionary in the supermarket line—BE the salt and light of Christ to the scowling, tired faces all around you. That’s no small thing!
Have a good week and may God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
Listen to Sr. Donna’s reflective reading of today’s Gospel: 02.05.17 Gospel
(No Homily posted this week.)
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish