The words of the Prophet Isaiah describe how a disciple can get an answer:
“Share with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless, clothe the naked,
and do not turn your back on your own—Then you shall receive an answer from the Lord!
In addition, St. Paul boasts that he comes “in weakness and fear” for a demonstration of “Spirit and Power.” These are such excellent reminders of our being called and sent to be—and bring about—God’s reign, God’s kingdom. Perhaps the most important advice, however, is given to us by Jesus himself in the Gospel of Matthew:
“YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH— YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!”
I would wager that Jesus’ words here constitute a vote for good health. When was the last time you did something or allowed something that brought a genuine smile to your face—one that just couldn’t stop coming back? How long has it been since you were so happy and at peace that “you seemed to glow”? That long, huh? Well, if it has indeed been a long time—maybe you can’t even remember—I assure you that you have been literally missing your calling.
When Jesus speaks of being salt and light he is talking about giving it all we’ve got—that is—all that God gave us. The trouble is that we often talk ourselves right into our own bushel baskets. Sometimes a false sense of duty, or pangs of self-inflicted or even church-inflicted guilt, render our salt tasteless, our light dimmed or even snuffed out. Think about it: if God gives us to someone in service, why would he give the least of us or ourselves drained and diminished? We may be sure that if we are giving of ourselves daily and we are hating the whole time—we are not doing anything that resembles God’s will. Try this. If we do not allow our own lives to be flavored with the good news of our salvation, or if we do not allow the light of Christ to lead our way, then to that degree we will not be able to be salt and light for others. This is one of those cases in which it is alright to be selfish, because, “we have to have it, in order to give it!”
Something to think about: as we watch things unfold in the world, who will emerge as “salt of the earth” or a “light shining on a hill top”? Who will touch as a “magnificent human being” as the Olympics in Sochi take place? If we wish to make today’s Gospel message our own, whom could we identify in our own life’s experience as one to imitate in being salt and light for others? Actually, I have a long list of names like that; some of them are right here at St. Rita.