“You are salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled.”
In a culture that values power, money, control, and perfectionism, it can be easy to trample on the humanity and dignity of others, especially those whom we categorize as being without value. It is easier to dehumanize and label certain groups of people as burdensome, weak, or unwanted in pursuit of our own personal advancement, security, or political agendas.
“You are the light of the world…Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
The Gospel of John says that we are children of the light; illuminated by Jesus who is the light of the world. In these dark times of increasing division and dehumanization, how are you called to be light for the world? As people of faith, we are called to be courageous beacons of light, hope, and love for all people—not just for our family, friends, and neighbors. We are called to be courageous beacons of light for those who stand in the shadows, for those who are oppressed, and for all our brothers and sisters who are suffering.
As I think about the word courage, I am reminded of a quote by Brene Brown, which says “courage is contagious. Every time we choose courage, we make everyone around us a little better and the world a little braver.” Do you have the courage to be light for the world? Do you have the courage to embrace discomfort so others might live more comfortably?
Erin McDonald, CSJ, is a Sister of St Joseph and the university minister for service and social justice at the University of Detroit Mercy. She holds degrees from Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia University, and Loyola University New Orleans. She previously served as director of the Service for Social Action Center at Wheeling Jesuit University, as a humanitarian aid worker for Jesuit Refugee Service in Rwanda, and as a social worker at Freedom House, a shelter in Detroit, Michigan, for survivors of torture and persecution who are seeking asylum in the U.S.