Visitors Counter

Since 2011

Is 58:7–10; 1 Kor 2:1–5; Mt 5: 13-16

Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. He adds, ". . . your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly father."

If we were to witness the events of this passage being acted on stage, I think we would find them humorous: Jesus telling a motley group of puzzled followers, many illiterate, that they are the light of the world. The scene reminds me of an experience in a freshman religion class when I suggested that it was they who would determine how our postmodern world ultimately would be defined. We all laughed upon hearing a clearly audible whisper, "O God." These freshmen were not quite sure they were up to the task. And when we hear the gospel passage in church on Sunday, we assume that Jesus is talking to those first disciples, surely not to us. Deep down, like my freshman class, we know we are not capable of being the light of the world.

The passage becomes good news, and not a cause for discouragement, only if we hear it in the context of the gospel that Jesus proclaims. Jesus himself is the light of the world. He is so empty of self and so transparent to the divine action in his humanity that he will be called Emmanuel, which means "God is with us." It is only because we, through the gift of the Spirit, become one with Christ, that we can be the light of the world, never by our own light alone.

The life implications of this gospel are practical and profound. The optimism of the great song "We Shall Overcome" is too easily shattered when racism or the violence of any injustice, in fact, seems to overcome the light. An invincible hope is possible only when we realize that it is through divine action that the kingdom of God is established in this world. "We Shall Overcome" is a song of unconquerable hope when the "we" includes "God is with us."

The conclusion of the eucharistic prayer of the Mass is an expression of the deepest truth of Christian faith: "Through him, with him, in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever." Jesus is saying to you and me: "Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father."

By Campion P. Gavaler, O.S.B.

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *


"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)



"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)



"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)



"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)



"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)