Letters from a Pastor to His People- February 9, 2020
Jesus, when he calls us salt and light, is saying that we are necessary. He doesn't call us honey; he doesn't call us a neon light—things that are nice, but not necessary. Salt and light are necessary for the world to function. There is no life without light (think about how the dinosaurs died) and salt, especially back in Jesus' time, was essential to preserve food.
Now, when I say the Lord needs us, what I'm really saying is that he relies on us to spread the faith. (By the way, in baptism, we give the newly baptized a candle and say, "receive the light of Christ." In the old ritual, salt was sometimes put into the person's mouth and salt was also sprinkled in water.) Christ has us evangelize: that is, introduce people to God and bring them into Catholicism.
A key to salt and light is balance. Not enough salt, and the food is bland and can potentially spoil. Not enough light, and people get depressed and life doesn't grow. Too much salt, however, and the food is ruined. Too much light, and a person can get burned or go insane. Think of the two different types of imprisonment or torture. A prisoner in a cell with no light will slowly slip into despondency and depression. A prisoner with bright lights on constantly, who isn't able to sleep, will at a certain point crack.
We can either be not Catholic enough (under-salting) or too Catholic (over-salting). My hunch would be that we lean towards being Catholic enough. I'm not saying we should be constantly talking about God and the Church's teaching, judging people and condemning. We might know those types of people. They're not effective. They're off-putting. People spew them out like you would something that is too salty.
We should have a good balance of Catholicism. We go about our day, fulfilling our responsibilities (be it at home, school, or work) and we take care of our health. But we pray. We spend quiet time with Jesus. We talk to him and let him rest in our hearts.
Ah, prayer. That right there, friends, is how we can be balanced and influence the world.
This Sunday the Cub Scouts will receive their religious rewards at the 9:30am Mass. A banquet will follow for the Scouts in the school hall following the Mass. Tomorrow, Monday night, the parish finance council will meet.
Just a reminder about the Archdiocese's Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA). Every parish is assessed 7% of its offertory income. For Fiscal Year 2018-2019, Saint Juliana's offertory income was $928,715. Therefore our goal for the 2020 ACA is $65,010. The Archdiocese will use this money mean to fund its programs; namely, support struggling parishes, Catholic schools, programs of religious education, ministry formation, vocations, young adult programs, and initiatives for justice, peace, and respect for all life. The Archdiocese also uses this income to support Catholic Relief Services and the work that institution does throughout the world to people devastated by war and natural disasters. Every dollar we raise over our goal of $65,010 will stay with the parish and we will use this money to continue to fund our capital projects around the parish, which are many. Last year, our goal was $54,775.08 (you can see how our collections have gone up!). We raised over $62,000 and used that over $7,000 to help with the projects around the church, school and parish center. Please be generous, as you always have been in the past, and help the parish meet and exceed our goal. I'm very grateful for your support. Next weekend we will do the in-pew solicitation.
Yours in Christ,