Saint Therese of Lisieux, died at the age of 24, after living as an enclosed nun from her teenage years. Generations of Catholics have admired this young saint, called her the "Little Flower", and found in her short life more inspiration for their own lives than in volumes by theologians. Some of the other nuns thought that Therese had achieved nothing at all in her short life. Yet within a generation, this young nun who had never left her convent was proclaimed patroness of the missions, not because she ever went anywhere, but because of her special love of the missions, and the prayers and letters she gave in support of missionaries. This is reminder to all of us who feel we can do nothing, that it is the little things that keep God's kingdom growing.
Even from her cloister she let her light shine out. Salt and light. This is what Jesus tells His disciples they are. This is what Jesus is telling us today that we are, namely, salt and light. “You are the salt of the earth.” “You are the light of the world.” Yes, you and me. That’s who we are. In both instances Jesus is telling us that our lives need to be a source of inspiration, hope, joy, peace and life to the people around us.
We can make a positive difference in the world because both salt and light make a positive difference. Salt is essential for life and it was and still is used as a preservative and flavouring. So like salt, we help to preserve life or keep life good and Godly but we also make it pleasant and enjoyable – our presence should add joy and love to the lives of others. In the same way a light brings hope in the darkness and it provides guidance and direction, but light is also essential for life and so again as a light to the world our lives provide hope to those around us and
to the culture in which we live.
Think how different our world would be right now if we all fully embraced these values and allowed this energy to shape our thoughts, words and deeds. By being friendly, kind and cheerful in our words spoken and shared on social media, our world would be different. We would look different. None of us in this Church can do everything, but all of us in this place can do something in our homes and parish communities that the light of Christ may shine more brightly in the world.
Fr. Dantus Thottathil
The Relics of Sts. Therese, Louis and Zelie will be at the Ormiston Carmelite Monastery Church on the 12th and 13th February. See here for more details.