FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK - FEBRUARY 2, 2023
Dear St. Martin’s Parishioners,
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus reveals the exalted vocation of his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth.” Later he adds, “You are the light of the world.” Let that sink in for a moment. We aren’t just Sunday Mass goers who fulfill an obligation, then go about our way trying to make it in the world. It is said that as the family goes, so goes the world. It could just as well be said that as the Church goes, so goes the world. We have something indispensable to offer to those we interact with: the truth and love found in Jesus Christ. What truth is that? We are created in the image and likeness of God, creatures of infinite dignity. Although we are fallen, Jesus Christ has redeemed us through his passion, death and resurrection, and has made us coheirs to eternal life, adopted sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, and dwelling places of the Holy Trinity. We have truly been recreated in Jesus Christ. How about the love the world so desperately needs to experience? God, who is Love, has created us in love. That means we are loved through and through, not the just the parts of us that are “good.” He has shown us infinite mercy in saving us while we were still sinners, and he has poured his love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Yet, many of us struggle through life feeling unloved, unwanted, unimportant, oblivious to God’s mercy, unaware of the goodness at the root of our being. What a tremendously important vocation we have as Christians!
Jesus warns us of rejecting or running from our call in today’s gospel. “If salt loses its taste . . . It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” This happens to us when we fall out of love with Jesus or don’t let the truth of God’s revelation shape our lives. When we profess the Creed at Mass, but live by an insipid and worldly creed, the end result is idolatry. Later Jesus says, “A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket.” Jesus exhorts us to have our Christian identity be the most prominent feature that we present to others. This isn’t ostentatious, but truly provocative and attractive. Lead with your Christian faith, rather than merely trying to fit in with those around you! We possess the an infinitely valuable treasure; what a shame if neither we nor those around us realize how rich we are.
This Sunday is Announcement Sunday for the annual Archdiocesan Appeal. The homilists will remind you of the manifold ways that your generous contributions sustain the life of our local church. Through the Annual Appeal, we support the education of our future priests, our Catholic schools, our hospital and university chaplains and the incredible network of social services provided throughout the Archdiocese. Your gift not only strengthens and builds up the life of the Archdiocese, but our parish as well. Thank you in advance for (re)committing yourself to generously supporting the Annual Appeal.