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Salt & light

Carla is gifted with good looks. When she studied in a Catholic school, she used to be a beauty queen dreaming to be a Miss Universe someday.

Her parents and friends encouraged her to do modeling in order to polish her bearing and hone up her talents.

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Right after graduation, a well-known film director approached her and offered a leading role in a movie he was doing.

Carla was obviously thrilled. The contract would not only bring her considerable money but also catapult her to fame.

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She agreed to the role after reading the script. The filming had gone well, until one day the director told her that they had altered a scene which would include a bed scene.

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They sent her a very revealing dress to wear. She was embarrassed and complained that that was not part of the contract. In trying to convince Carla, the director called her aside and promised a handsome bonus if she acceded to do the new scene.

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Having studied in a Catholic school and thinking of the grave moral harm that “bold scene” would do to millions, particularly the youngsters, Carla gently turned down the offer.

The shooting went on – minus the questionable scene.

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In the Sunday gospel, Jesus tells his disciples “You are the salt of the earth” (Mt 5,13).

Besides adding taste to food, salt preserves it from spoiling. In a world growing more and more corrupt because of lust, greed, and injustice, we as Christ’s followers are exhorted to preserve such Christian values as compassion, honesty, justice, and decency as Carla showed by rejecting an indecent proposal.

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A few good Christian families, for instance, trying hard to be faithful to their marital vows, can improve family life in a community. Or a few good Christian workers can change the atmosphere in an office or work place.

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CHRISTIANS AS LIGHT. “You are the LIGHT of the world” is another image Christ uses. “Let your light shine before men so that they may see your goodness and give praise to your Heavenly Father” (Mt 5,16).

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Note that Jesus is not telling us to PARADE our light or trumpet our achievements before people. He’s simply telling us that we should BE a light to them. There’s a big difference between “parading” our light and “being” a light.

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For instance, some people do charity in order to win people’s approval or win votes in an election. But a true Christian should not have such motive but rather win people to the Heavenly Father.

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As Christians, are we a salt that preserve our community or society from spoiling by living the Christian values like compassion, honesty, justice? And as light, do we radiate it through our moral living and good examples?

Only you can answer that before the Lord.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. After the wedding Mass, the officiating priest exhorted the newly-wed couple: “From now on you, Dino, are the pillar of the house and you, Cristy, are the light (ilaw) of the house.”

The mother-in-law asked: “And how about me, Father? “You?” looking at her intently, the priest replied: “You are the termite (anay) of the house!”

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It’s not just the wife that’s the light of the family but also the father, including the mother-in-law.
(Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD)

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