Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Our first reading today always causes me to smile. Back in the 1970’s, I belonged to a Christian mime group. In white face make-up and gaudy suspenders, we acted out Bible stories for church groups around the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. The passage from Isaiah today about sharing with the poor, the homeless, those in need—was one of our favorite routines. I remember miming the act of feeding the hungry, befriending the oppressed, giving clothes to those who needed them, and then reacting in surprise at the prophet’s words, “your light shall break forth like the dawn.” I think we all leaped into the air at that point—a move that I wouldn’t try today!
My point with all this? Well, the prophecy from Isaiah made for some concrete pantomime gestures because the prophet describes such concrete, practical actions to begin with. It’s what Jesus is getting at in the Gospel when he urges us to be “salt for the earth” and “light for the world.” Christianity is more than words—it’s a life lived out in concrete action. People need to see our faith expressed in our deeds, especially on behalf of those in need. It’s better than a sermon—or maybe even better than a pantomime by a troupe of Gospel clowns.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• What does the Lord tell people, in the first reading (Isaiah 58: 7-10), about sharing things with those in need?
If the people care for the poor and free them from oppression what will happen?
What does it mean when Isaiah says: “Your light shall break forth like the dawn”?
• The second reading (1 Corinthian 2:1-5) speaks of Corinth. Where is Corinth? Why was it an import place for travelers and cargo being shipped?
How does St. Paul describe how he came to the Corinthian people?
• In this week's Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that they are “the salt of the earth.” What might that mean?
He also says that they are “the light of the world.” What does he tell them that they must do?
How can we be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world?” Can you give some examples of what these things might mean at home, or at school, or in your neighborhood?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Draw a picture or a design using liquid glue. When you're done, sprinkle salt over the glue and create a sparkly image.
• Gather your friends or family and play a game of flashlight tag. If you don't know how to play, you can find the directions online.