How do we bring comfort and joy to others?
by Sister Lynne Marie Simonich
Jesus uses two images that his listeners can relate to: salt and light. In Jesus’ time salt was important for preserving meat and also bringing out the flavor in food. Salt depends on how it interacts with something else to be useful.
In Jesus’ time fire provided light in the hours of darkness. That light brought warmth and comfort to a weary world.
In parishes this weekend World Day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated. Many of us know men and women who have made commitments in the consecrated life. Their lives add “salt” and “light” to many hearts and souls. May they realize how they have inspired others in times of joy and in times of sorrow.
What about each of us? How are we to be salt and light to the world? The Prophet Isaiah in our first reading tells us: “Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own”. (Is. 58:7-10) A simple act of kindness is all it takes.
Do you see ways in which you can bring flavor and brightness to our world?
To Sister Lynne Marie's list, I add:
"... remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech ...
satisfy the afflicted;" (Is. 58:9-10)
To remove oppression ..... This is a monumental task in These Times, as Soooooooo Many Peoples and groups of people are systemically oppressed, including People of Color, women, children, LGBTQ+ persons, persons not of one particular faith or religion. The list can go on.
"Who" do we listen to when it comes to eliminating oppressive systems that create and foster a Culture of Suffering and Death? "How" will the prophets help us overcome sins and systems of oppression? "How" do we create a Culture of economic justice for all, educational and health care opportunities for each and all, and a worshipping community that is all-inclusive?
And what about eliminating lies, distortions, and deceptions along with malicious speech that riles up angry mobs? This, too, is what is being asked of us, as deceit, lies, and malicious speech are intentional and deliberate 'sins' that cause immeasurable, egregious, and unnecessary suffering, most especially to innocent lives.