5th Sunday OTA

Is 58: 7-10;       I Cor 2: 1-5;       Mt 5: 13-16

How Many Church Members Does it Take to Change A Light Bulb? Charismatic: Only one. Hands already in the air. Pentecostals: Ten. One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.  Presbyterians: None. Lights will go on and off at predestined times. Roman Catholic: None. Candles only. Baptists: At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad. Episcopalians: Three. One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old one was. Mormons: Five. One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it. Lutherans: None. Lutherans don’t believe in change. Amish: What’s a light bulb?

Dear friends! The common theme of the readings today is our mission to the world as salt and light. In our first reading, the prophet Isaiah gives examples of how we are to allow the light of God to shine through us.  “Share your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own.   Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday” (58: 7, 10).  Our Pope Francis appealed to people throughout the world saying, “I invite all of the institutions of the world, the Church, each of us, as one single human family, to give a voice to all of those who suffer silently from hunger, so that this voice becomes a roar which can shake the world.”

Keeping in mind the social teachings of the church, our parish makes every effort to help the poor and the needy. We help so many families through our Food Pantry every month. Thanks for your continued support. We have also made effort to reach beyond the boundaries of our country this year. We just shipped more than 1000 contact glasses this week to our Sister diocese in Kenya and the parish will be issuing a check of $ 8150 for the water project for the people of Lodwar in Kenya. Bishop Dominic from Lodwar thanks every one of you for your generosity.

Using two simple metaphors of salt and light in today’s Gospel, Jesus outlines the role of Christians in this world. Our challenge is: How can you and I be the salt and light of the world today; as an individual, as a priest, as a family, as parents, and as a community of believers?

July 28, 2002 On the occasion of 17 the World Youth day Pope John Paul II said to all the young people “Salt is used to preserve and keep. As apostles for the Third Millennium, your task is to preserve and keep alive the awareness of the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist, the memorial of His saving death and glorious resurrection… Salt seasons and improves the flavor of food. Following Jesus, you have to change and improve the “taste” of human history. With your faith, hope and love, with your intelligence, courage and perseverance, you have to humanize the world we live in.” “Even a tiny flame lifts the heavy lid of night. How much more light will you make, all together, if you bond as one in the communion of the Church!”

While we can be proud of what we do, we have still a lot more to do in our church especially being the Salt and Light to all the children and the teenagers of our parish community. Surprisingly we have 58 children from the age of 11 – 17 and 25 children from 5-10. But just turn around and count the number of children and teenagers present in the church today and every weekend. It is very alarming. Where are the parents and godparents who promised to be the Salt and Light to these children on the day of their baptism? I don’t have answer to it.

However let us not blame anyone. Let us begin just doing a single thing. If you find anywhere parents and teenagers of our church community, just tell them that you missed them in the church and will be happy to see them in the church. If you don’t see them following week give them a call saying the same thing.

Let us ask ourselves how you and I can be the Salt and light as Christ asks us to be beginning with our family, and to all the people we meet every day no matter where we are and wherever we go.