Christianity is not a spectator sport: Called to be salt and light
Homily by Deacon Matt Dulka, Our Lady of Grace, Castro Valley, 2/6/2011
I was born in Wisconsin, so I’m a cheesehead by birth. So as you might guess, this Superbowl Sunday is a big day for me and my family. The Superbowl is one of the largest spectator sports events around. I don’t know how many people will be gathered around TV sets watching the the game today.
By contrast, in the Gospel today, Jesus couldn't make it much clearer. Being a Christian is not a spectator’s sport. You can’t be a Christian and sit by on the sidelines and watch life go by. Jesus expects his followers to do what he did. Wherever life has lost its flavor or meaning, we are called to get in there and be salt. Wherever there is darkness, we are called to be light.
But how can we be salt? How are we to be light? And what happens when we do?
The first reading from Isaiah is helpful. He speaks very concretely about what it means to be light and what happens when we do. Let’s take a look again at what he said.
First he tells us how to be a light:
- share your bread with the hungry,
- shelter the oppressed and the homeless,
- clothe the naked when you see them,
- do not turn your back on your own,
- remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech,
- and again, bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted.
- our light shall break forth like the dawn,
- our wounds shall quickly be healed,
- we will be vindicated, meaning that our life’s will be justified, have meaning,
- that we will be able to call on God, and he will be present, and
- all the darkness and gloom in our lives will be gone, replaced by light