You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.
that others may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father
My Dear Friends in Christ,
The disciples listening to Jesus must have been astounded to hear how important they are to God’s plan. Christ uses the ordinary things of the world, common things like salt and light, to share the mystery of the vitality and beauty, not only for our world, but also for God’s. Christians are not only to be “virtuous”; they are to be salt, that is, they are to raise the level of flavor of every human activity and thus transform it. Something tasteless, or even distasteful, can become delightful if seasoned with joy and devotion. Jesus moves from the kitchen to the heavens, from salt to light, quickly spanning all our human experience. To the pointedness of salt corresponds the brightness of light.
Each disciple is called to brighten the world around him or her; every Christian is responsible if the world around him or her remains unlit, untransformed, leaving the struggling in the dark.
The call of Christ to be salt and light for others is a strong reminder of the care we need to take as individuals and as a community. Jesus makes clear that each one of us has a part making known the glory of God by sharing the Good News. Further, all of us together as a community share the responsibility of being (and helping others to become) salt and light. This call of Jesus is not ancillary to who each of us is as a Christian nor to us together as a community. It’s not merely something we do when we have some time left over from the real work of life. It is the very essence of our life and call as Christians.
Just as salt and light are not ends in themselves, so too, we as individuals and as a community are created to enhance the life of others.
The ME25 survey we are taking in church this weekend is part of learning where we are and how we can do better in answering this call. It will help us understand better where and how people are connected and offer us insight into what we can do to improve.
This call is at the very heart of our Evangelization-Based Strategic Pastoral Plan. As we continue to roll it out, I am hopeful that you are taking time to read it carefully and reflect on it carefully. I would also encourage you to read the documents that prompted and then guided our efforts Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis (link here) and A Light Brightly Visible by Archbishop Lori (link here). We also have some extra hard copies for those without access to the internet.
The plan cannot remain on the shelf unread and unused. We can use the plan guide us, keep us on track, and hold us accountable but only if it is known and utilized. As I mentioned last week in my comments and at Mass, we need your input. I appreciate the efforts of those who have already contacted me, and I look forward to our listening sessions scheduled for Saturday, February 15, 2020 at St. Mary’s following the 4:00 p.m. Mass and then on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at Holy Family at 7:00 p.m. Please keep these efforts in your prayers and don’t forget to pray for me as well.