Day nine: for all of us
“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." Matthew 5, 13-16
Teaching of John Paul II:
"We are the people of life because God, in his unconditional love, has given us the Gospel of life and by this same Gospel, we have been transformed and saved. We have been ransomed by the "Author of life" (Acts 3:15) at the price of his precious blood (cf. 1 Cor 6:20; 7:23; 1 Pet 1:19). Through the waters of Baptism, we have been made a part of him (cf. Rom 6:4-5; Col 2:12), as branches which draw nourishment and fruitfulness from the one tree (cf. Jn 15:5). Interiorly renewed by the grace of the Spirit, "who is the Lord and giver of life," we have become a people for life and we are called to act accordingly.
We have been sent. For us, being at the service of life is not a boast but rather a duty, born of our awareness of being "God's own people, that we may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light" (cf. 1 Pet 2:9). On our journey we are guided and sustained by the law of love: a love which has as its source and model the Son of God made man, who "by dying gave life to the world".
We have been sent as a people. Everyone has an obligation to be at the service of life. This is a properly "ecclesial" responsibility, which requires concerted and generous action by all the members and by all sectors of the Christian community. This community commitment does not however eliminate or lessen the responsibility of each individual, called by the Lord to "become the neighbour" of everyone: "Go and do likewise" (Lk 10:37).
Together we all sense our duty to preach the Gospel of life, to celebrate it in the Liturgy and in our whole existence, and to serve it with the various programmes and structures which support and promote life.
'That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you' (1 Jn 1:3): proclaiming the Gospel of life." Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, § 79, 03/25/1995.
Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph
Mary is given to us as our Mother. Her entire life was a love response to God's infinite Love, a Yes, a Fiat with no condition. Let us welcome her as our Mother and let her guide us to announce the Gospel of Life, in our existence and according to our vocation, in our family, our work, our relationships... Next to Mary, next to us, is standing Saint Joseph, the silent man. He may not have understood God's plan, but he adhered fully to it nonetheless. He is the one who protected the Son of God and his Mother and he can protect us and help us live according to the Gospel of life.
Today, we pray for one another, that we may become the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Along with the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph and Saint John Paul II, let us pray that all men and women of good will, believers and non-believers alike, become Apostles of the Gospel of Life, in joy, audacity, and creativity, so that life will be protected and respected, from its beginnings until its natural end, and so that the dignity of every person will be acknowledged and honored.
Visiting an elderly or disabled person, offering a smile to a homeless person, counseling a friend envisioning abortion or euthanasia, helping an overwhelmed mother, inviting a lonely acquaintance, listening to a suffering co-worker whose child is an addict, donating time or money to an organization which defends conscientious objectors... Those daily acts we may accomplish in the service of life may seem derisory and minor, but it is by those acts that the world is changed to the better.
Saint John Paul II, pray for us.
Picture: Pope John Paul II stands on the threshold of a former slave-trade depot on Goree Island during his 1992 trip to Senegal.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6