Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church Father Shawn Aaron, LC
Jesus said to his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven."
Introductory Prayer: Father of love, source of all blessings, you have led me throughout my life, and you lead me still. Thank you for your paternal care. Jesus, Son of God, you died for me on the cross to pay for my sins and manifest your unconditional love for me. Thank you for showing me the way home to the Father. Holy Spirit, sweet guest of the soul, you heal me and strengthen me and set me on fire from the most intimate depths of my soul. Thank you for your loving presence within me.
Petition: Lord, show me where I can make a difference.
1. The New Flavor of the Gospel: By calling us "the salt of the earth" Jesus meant that all his disciples, all those who would be called 'Christians' down through the centuries, would have the responsibility to work to give the new 'taste' of the Gospel to the earth and enlighten the whole world with Jesus' teaching. Salt enhances the food we eat by accenting the natural flavor already present in the food. In like manner, we are called by God to enhance the world around us with the "saltiness" of our Christian lives. God created the world good, but sin has marred it. Through baptism God gives us the "salt" of his divine life – grace – so that, in turn, this grace of baptism will develop into a life of virtue and Christian charity by which we are called to "season" our environment. Do I have this awareness and desire which springs from my baptism?
2. Enlightening Minds and Hearts: Without light we are blind. The human eye is rendered useless where light is unable to penetrate. Analogously, all people have the power to know God who is truth, goodness and love. But without the particular light that is Jesus Christ, those faculties are clouded at best. Jesus wants you and me to be his light in contemporary society. By the way we live our life other people must see: They must see Christ. They must see the dignity of the human person and the noble calling each one of us has to live forever with God. They must see that love and mercy triumph over evil, suffering and death. The world needs our light because the world needs Christ.
3. The Shining Example of the Saints: What about humility? What about not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing? Jesus reminds us that our lives and actions are meant to direct people's gaze to God and not towards ourselves: "So that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." The world has needed to see Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in action. It has needed to see the youthful vigor and the aged frailty of Pope Saint John Paul II. Their light has illumined our path towards God. This side of heaven, we will always need the example of the saints, and that is precisely what you and I are called to be.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you have given me everything I need to be faithful. Grant me also the courage and the zeal to live what I believe and to testify to your faithful love in my thoughts, words and actions. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.
Resolution: Today I will speak to someone about Jesus, backing up my words with the sincerity with which I live my Christian commitments.