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Tuesday, June 8, 1999

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2 Corinthians 1:18-22
Psalm 119:129-135
Matthew 5:13-16

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salt, light, and blood

"You are the salt of the earth." —Matthew 5:13

"You are the light of the world." —Matthew 5:14

All followers of Jesus must be the salt of the earth. We must flavor our culture and even permeate it with the gospel of Jesus (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 899). Many elements of our culture of death will strongly resist being salted with life. However, if necessary, we must die to salt the earth. Otherwise, we will "be thrown out and trampled underfoot" (Mt 5:13).

Jesus also proclaims that His disciples are the light of the world. However, people love "darkness rather than light" (Jn 3:19), and those who do evil hate the light (Jn 3:20).

Therefore, we can disobey Jesus and be trampled salt, or obey Him and be hated light. Either way, we're going to suffer. If, however, we "should have to suffer for justice' sake, happy will" we be (1 Pt 3:14). "If anyone suffers for being a Christian...he ought not to be ashamed. He should rather glorify God in virtue of that name" (1 Pt 4:16). It is our privilege to be hated and persecuted salt and light (see Phil 1:29). We find our joy in the sufferings we endure for Jesus and His Church (Col 1:24; see also 1 Pt 4:13; Acts 5:41). What a privilege and joy it is to imitate Jesus and share in His sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death! (Phil 3:10)

Sprinkle your salt everywhere you can. Let your light shine (Mt 5:16). Be hated, persecuted, and even martyred.

Prayer:  Father, if it be Your will, make me a martyr.

Promise:  Jesus "was not alternately 'yes' and 'no'; He was never anything but 'yes.' " —2 Cor 1:19

Praise:  John attended a Life in the Spirit seminar only because of his wife's insistence. Jesus touched his heart, and John went to Confession for the first time in thirty-five years.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998