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Feb, 12th Pastor's Message

Read this week's message from Father Don


Dear friends,

When Jesus told his disciples “You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world” what do you think he meant? I think he was encouraging his followers, including us, to become visible signs of Christian faith in the secular world.

Everyone is influenced by what they see and hear around them. Our lifestyle choices, our taste in music, our hobbies, even our fashion sense is influenced by the behaviour of others. Our beliefs and moral values, our hopes and our fears are also significantly shaped by the people around us or the people we admire.

To be “the salt of the earth” is to be a Christian influencer in the world. Christians are not to blend in with the world or blindly follow its ways but rather to influence the world by living the faith in a public manner. To be effective influencers we must let our light shine and allow ourselves to be recognized as Christians by those around us.

Many contemporary Catholics have an unfortunate habit of keeping their faith hidden, preferring to think of it as a strictly private and personal matter. Perhaps they are afraid of criticism or of being socially ostracized. No doubt, they do not want to be in the position of having to defend the Church at a time when it is subject to widespread disapproval. In this regard, it is worth pointing out that the more Christians keep their faith hidden, the more public disapproval is likely to increase.

Jesus commands his followers to “Let your light shine before others.” How are we meant to do this? By offering small visible indications of our sincere faith in God e.g., make the sign of the cross and say grace before your meal in a restaurant, tell your co-workers that you go to mass on Sunday. These little gestures will not convert anyone, but it may slowly impact the way others think about the Christian faith. It may help them to recognize that some normal intelligent Canadians do believe in God and worship him regularly.

The first goal of Christian influence in an anti-religious society like our own is to normalize religious faith and practice, and all Catholics can be part of this process. Not every Catholic can tell others about Jesus, but every Catholic can say grace in a restaurant and tell people that they go to church. The more Catholics do this, the quicker our society will start to modify its attitude toward us. We are not going to change our society very quickly but a shift from disapproval to polite tolerance of Christian faith would be a step in the right direction.

Best wishes,

Father Don

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