Tuesday, June 11, 2013

“Somehow freedom for religious expression has become freedom from religious expression.”

“The old restriction meant that only the orthodox were allowed to discuss religion. Modern liberty means that nobody is allowed to discuss it. Good taste, the last and vilest of human superstitions, has succeeded in silencing us where all the rest have failed.” - G.K. Chesterton

Gospel Text: (MT 5:13-16)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Many Catholics, sadly, are too ashamed of our faith to live it in a public way. Like many scandalous politicians, we separate faith from life. We pretend that our faith is private and shouldn't influence our public life in any noticeable way. Well, our faith is intensely personal, but it's not supposed to be private. It's supposed to be a light for others.

In short, Jesus is saying that our lives are supposed to illumine the world with his light.

And so today we can ask ourselves? Would others - our family members, coworkers, fellow students, friends, neighbors and acquaintances - say that we illumine them with Christian light? Would they say that they've learned the faith from observing us, from listening to us, from befriending us? Do are friends who are caught in the dark snare of some sin learn from us the path to freedom by our example? Or do most of our acquaintances have no idea we're Catholic? Do they know more about what we think of sports teams or politics or the weather than what we believe about Christ?

We are called to be the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World in order to save the world and lead it on the path to light and life everlasting. Today, Jesus wants to give us the graces he knows we need truly to live up to these vocations. He wants to give us his help to prevent our salt losing its saltiness and our light being hidden. But we need to respond and, with the courage that comes from the Holy Spirit, to live out that what we are.

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