Jesus tells us that He did not come to abolish the old law but to fulfill it. We are Judeo-Christians. This fact makes our religion over 10,000 years in the making. It comes to us today after the Jews believed in one God and stayed with their strange belief (at the time), after Christ walked the earth, after the Early Church Fathers, after the early martyrs, after Constantine, after the Doctors of the Church, after numerous saints and changes (for the good and for the not so good) right up into the 21st century. What Catholics face today (the secularized world, the relativism of most of the people we come in contact with, or the out and out hatred of our faith as manipulated by the media, the abortion acceptance to the point where it is viewed as a woman’s freedom without regard to the baby’s demise) may make it seem impossible to be a happy Catholic. Today is just more of the same. I don’t know how great our nation can be if it approves the murders of our innocent. They have injected themselves into a women’s womb and call those opposed to it – the far right, as if a direction can describe you or me.
What is asked of us today? We are asked to defend our faith by being the salt of the earth, the light of the world (last week’s message) by walking away from gossip quietly, by not “picking and choosing” what we believe as if our little minds know all of truth, by wearing a crucifix without shame, by being the lady or gentleman God would approve of. We can help the lost by our willingness to listen, feed the hungry offering something to one poorer than we are, and by donating our clothing to a thrift store. We have so much…even the poorer among us…but we know the fulfillment of the law. We know we will be answerable to Him for what we did with our “talents”. Just being a nice man or woman is not enough. Jesus is our example and still is, even as we enjoy satellite radio and surfing the Internet.
We are here to stand up for a better world. We don’t need our fists in the air to do so. We need to turn our will and lives over to God…to have a God conscience in the minutes we have left of our life.
Today’s gospel message from Our Lord tells us that our responsibility in the world is to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world. Because salt adds flavor to food and preserves its freshness, it is very important in our daily lives. To be the salt of the earth to me means to be a good person with virtuous character. We have to become God conscious. If we turn our will and our life over to God and stay conscious of His guidance, it won’t be hard to be a good example. We don’t need to be conscious of ourselves. We must forget ourselves! We need to be conscious of others. If we forget about our needs, our wants, our desires, we can better focus on others. After a while, it will be easy. If we pray to do God’s will, we will naturally forget our will. The end result is that people will notice your kindness, your concern for your fellow man, and your happiness with the simple things in life.
Many people live in darkness today. They may have a great job, much money, many toys; but their world can still be shaded in lonliness, anger, addictions, etc. To be the light of the world would mean (to me) being a ray of sunshine in a dull day’s sky. In order to get to the light, I guess you have to get out of the darknesses you call your life and try something different. Change in attitude and behavior is paramount to heading toward the light. If we aim for the light we will become a light and not even know it.
The materialism and the hedonism flowing in our society scares me. The beautitudes are the opposite of success in this world. The news, even the weather, is manufactured to makes us bite our nails and/or not talk to our neighbors. Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves, but heck, we don’t even converse with them. The shows on television put down men, women and children. If television portrayed the only view of life, I wouldn’t go outside. The headlines are reserved for the next psychotic to perform a horrendous act.
Well, I’m rambling. Just wanted to comment on being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We don’t have to be anything out of the ordinary to be thus. We just have to continue trying to be the best person we can be. And, we don’t have to be bored doing it. We will be busy until we lay down and die because the battle with self is just as bazaare as the crazy world we live in.