We Are a Light in the World
At the end of the celebration of Mass the priest or deacon has a choice of Dismissal.
Go forth, the Mass is ended.
Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.
Go in peace.
This makes it clear to us that what we begin at the celebration of the Eucharist we continue when we leave the church.
The dismissal sends us out to be a witness to Christ in our lives. We take Christ we have encountered in Mass and witness to him in our everyday life. We are a light in the world.
What enables us to give light to all around us is Mercy. Our works of mercy is living the light in action. Today’s Gospel encourages us to think in terms of mercy. When Pope Francis called for a Year of Mercy in 2016 we were able to reflect of the seven Corporal and spiritual words of mercy. We don’t stop living out the spiritual and corporate works of mercy when that year ended. We are still called to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison, shelter the homeless, and burying the dead. We are still asked to be honest with people about their sins, share knowledge with those who are ignorant, work with people who are in doubt, comfort those who feel emotionally distressed, loving even when wrong is done to us, forgiving every offence and praying for the living and dead. This is the way our light is seen.
It is important for us to remember that Jesus did not say You are to become salt..the light.
He said “You are the salt of the earth, the light of the world”. We are not salt or light through our own efforts. This is a dignity and responsibility given by God and implanted in us. When we allow God’s Spirit to live in us and work through us we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Finally a quote from the retired Archbishop Daniel Pilarczvk: “Being the light of the world does not consist in standing around looking religious. It involves caring for those who have need of our help, getting our hands dirty in the prosperity and justice for the world around us. That’s what makes us bright and surrounds us with the glory of God. That’s how we help enlighten the world.”