Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Today in the Gospel Jesus tells us “you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” Salt and light were elements crucial to society in Jesus’ day, and are just as important today. We need look no further back than our recent widespread power outages to recognize our dependence on light! To be a light to the world is an intimidating aspiration until we remember that we are merely reflecting and amplifying the light that is Christ. Our participation in God’s will – enacting justice and practicing compassion – allows us to also participate in God’s beauty.
We are created in the image and likeness of the greatest light that there has ever been, we are meant to shine brightly. But all too often, oppressive forces in our world try to act as bushel baskets. Racism, patriarchy, hatred, and violence are just a few of the systemic and societal evils attempting to extinguish the flames of many of our brothers and sisters. These bushel baskets can seem indestructible. Thankfully our light, the light of Christ, is even stronger.
Jesus uses the images of salt and light to call His disciples to a life of service. Neither element exists just for itself. The prophet Isaiah connects works of mercy with the breaking forth of light. Acts of loving service are beacons of light in a dark world. It is easy to equate the sweeping scope of Isaiah’s and Jesus’ words to the scale of action required of us. Yes, we need to bring peace, justice and mercy to our broken world, but that can begin with a small gesture of love and support in our own intimate community.
Listening to a friend, a small caring act for someone who is ill, remembering and celebrating a birthday, checking on someone who is grieving or struggling, all these reflect Christ’s healing light. We can raise up and dispense with the bushel baskets of the world with small light-filled acts of compassion and mercy that can lead to peacemaking and justice seeking on a global scale.
I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, great hope, and radiant light,