I was looking at some photos during the week and marveling at the many activities and celebrations that are part-and-parcel of our parish life – baptisms, weddings, family Masses, school events. As I shuffled through, all of a sudden I became aware of my appearance- I was not smiling! It’s not that I was angry or did not want to be in the photo, but my facial expression lacked any sense of joy or gratitude.
Normally I would not have given it a second thought but for this weekend’s gospel where Jesus clearly tells his followers “You are the salt of the earth” and “You are the light of the world”. Obviously this means that we are meant to be some sort of person – a person that makes a difference – but what sort of person?
Remember, this call to be “salt” and “light” follows on immediately from last weekend’s Beatitudes, where Jesus tells us that “blessed” or ‘happy” are the poor in spirit, the mourners, the merciful, the pure in heart and so on.
Because today’s gospel follows on from last week’s, I can only assume that people who are the salt of the earth and the light of the world are the same as those who are “happy” to hunger and thirst after righteousness, who are peacemakers and who are persecuted for standing up for those who have come off second best in life. The question is “am I happy”? I certainly did not look happy in many of the photos! When you go home and you close the door and you look in the mirror, who do you see looking back? Is there any trace of happiness staring back at you? Even today as we gather for Mass, if someone took a snap shot of us would they see faces that are happy and excited to be alive, or would we look more like an undertaker’s convention?
We can’t change our characters. Some of us are quiet, some of us are noisy. Some of us are the extroverted type, fond of parties, while others like a bit of peace and quiet. Whatever sort of person we are, we strive to not be miserable, or negative, or cynical. Quite the opposite is true, we are truly blessed to be given the challenge to be “salt” and “light” for our sisters and brothers. So happy are we to be given the opportunity to make a difference. So happy in fact, that subconsciously it is written all over our faces!!! God bless,