Salt and light

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | February 05,2023 - 08:00 AM

There are two kinds of chicharon (pork rind): may laman, i.e., with meat, or walang laman, i.e., just skin, no meat.

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In today’s Gospel (Matthew 5: 13-16), Jesus tells us to be “salt of the earth” and to be “light of the world.” Salt gives flavor, and light gives brightness. In other words, we His disciples must be men and women with substance, men and women “na may laman,” men and women who make a difference in the very lives we live.

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A true disciple is one who makes a difference because of his/her beliefs and the way he/she behaves. Salt, when mixed with any food, is a taste-changer. Light, when cast on any darkness, is a scene-changer.

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A true disciple is one who is faithful to the Master, which means, adherence to the “flavor” and the “rays” of the Master. Woe unto us if we who claim to be His disciples adulterate the taste, or block the light of our Master because we have become too full of ourselves.

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How do we become true disciples with substance? It is when we die to ourselves, and let the Lord live in us that we become His true witnesses. “He must increase. I must decrease” (Jn. 3,30). May people taste and see more of Jesus, and less of us.

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Ang taong may laman ay ’yong taong hindi lang may nalalaman, kundi may pakialam. (A person with substance is the one who is not only knowledgeable, but one who is involved with others.)

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Ang taong may dating ay ’yong taong hindi lang ang sarili ang pinaparating, kundi may iba ring napaparating. (A person who has presence is the one who not only carries himself but who helps to bring others in.)

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Beyond making money or making a name, may we all strive to make a difference in this world, in our own small way. As the song says: “Maybe you and I can’t do great things; we may not change the world in one day, but we still can change some things today in our small way” (Michael Jackson).

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My favorite saying since my youth: “When through one person a little more love and goodness, a little more light and truth, has come into the world, then that man’s life has had meaning” (Alfred Delp, SJ).

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Think about this: “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again” (Etienne de Grellet).

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With joy and humility, we welcome our 13 new priests in the Society of the Divine Word who will become “salt” of the earth, and “light” to the world as missionaries of the Divine Word: Fr. Bao Son Nguyen, SVD, Missionary to Philippine Central; Fr. Reynaldo Regalado, Jr., SVD, Missionary to Central America; Fr. Peter Bulosan, SVD, Missionary to Kenya; Fr. Jerry Bangues, SVD, Missionary to Angola; Fr. Kodjo Touwonou, SVD, Missionary to Philippine South; Fr. Algie Cantila, SVD, Missionary to Philippine North; Fr. Joemari Berme, SVD, Missionary to Argentina South; Fr. Bagui Bassa Lakougnon, SVD, Missionary to Philippine Central; Fr. Michael Yambao, SVD, Missionary to Vietnam; Fr. Edwin Borromeo, SVD, Missionary to Argentina East; Fr. Kabi Madobi Raoul, SVD, Missionary to Congo; Fr. Ronie Pinca, SVD, Missionary to Spain; and Fr. Van Hoan Nguyen, SVD, Missionary to Colombia.

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us to live substantial and meaningful lives. Amen.

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TAGS: Cebu Daily News, cebu news, chicharon, Gospel, light, master, salt
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