In the course of their growing children’s lives, parents provide them with the education, moral values, religious faith and much more to prepare them for adulthood. They invest considerable resources in schools, sports, arts, and social opportunities to further develop all that they can, to help their children become all that they can be. But what the children receive is not solely for their personal enjoyment. At some point, parents want the joy and satisfaction of seeing it all take, of seeing their children fly from the nest and establish themselves in their adult lives in a meaningful manner. No matter how close they may feel to their children, they do not want to see them parked in front of the TV living at home for the rest of their lives. Can you imagine your reaction if after twenty years or so of cultivating your little genius, sacrificing to put him through university, watching him receive his degree… and he says thanks a lot, but work really isn’t for him?
In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus is telling us much the same. He has given us everything. We have heard the Good News. Christ has died for our sins and risen! He has conquered death. He has provided for our Salvation. That is news to be shared, not to be enjoyed in the privacy of our homes.
We are meant to be salt of the earth – contributing to its goodness. We are meant to be lights shining bright, illuminating the truth. Jesus is telling us that we must live our faith, not just believe it. What meaning would it have if it did not transform us?
There are others who are preachers; that’s not our calling. But living in joy and love, kindness, compassion contributes to the goodness of the world and is a shining light to others. People notice. They wonder what makes another so peaceful. They respect that someone doesn’t gossip or speak negatively of others. They see when someone is modest and humble. They value that another is honest and trustworthy.
Christians have something special to offer the world and it is our responsibility to share the Good News of salvation. That’s no small thing. Be the salt. Be the light. It’s the least we can do.