Pass the salt, please! What does Jesus’ call to be salt and light mean?
On one of our journeys in the countryside of Salamanca, Chile, we the team of three adults and five youth encountered a serious problem on our return trip.
We had been in the mountains providing support to a faith community when without warning a storm pelted the dirt roads with torrential rainfall. Our narrow path was blocked by a huge boulder and tree. At first, panic set in as we had no way of contacting anyone of our predicament. After talking over options, we decided to start walking, singing every lively church song we knew to bolster the spirits of our youth.
Soaked by the rain we kept moving forward in the total darkness disappointed that despite passing many homes, no one responded. I suppose they assumed the ‘music’ was coming from a group who had way too much to drink! However to our surprise we definitely saw a light in the distance. Approaching it we noticed a figure clothed with a bright yellow slicker and holding a lantern. Getter even closer, we happily recognized the face: our catechism teacher from the village!
It was midnight as Maria settled us in her tiny home. She explained that she had been ready to retire, when she heard and recognized the church songs, so decided to see what on earth we were doing out in the storm. Maria offered tea and bread to nourish our weary bodies and lifted our spirits with her inner light. I have never forgotten her being ‘salt’ and ‘light’ for us on that frightening night.
Just as salt and light are no good in and of themselves, so the good we do is measured in our relationships to others. Discipleship is for the sake of others. Being salty or shiny may mean many things. Perhaps it’s getting involved in a parish project for justice, tutoring a child, or reflecting on our busy schedules to see what has value and meaning for the good of others. Whatever it means for you, let’s keep passing on that SALT and LIGHT. Jesus is counting on us!
-Sister Ann Marie
Sisters of St. Mary of Namur . 241 Lafayette Avenue . Buffalo, New York 14213 . (716) 884-8221