Sunday, February 5, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

Quote of the Week: “Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.” — Desiderius Erasmus.

Ask a person with high blood pressure who has recently been told by their doctor: “Remove the salt from you diet.”

Some simply use a substitute. Some say they don’t miss it. Some say: “Without it my food has no taste.”

Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth.”

A woman, as a result of a serious accident, was blind for four months. After the final surgery and accompanying recuperation, the bandages were removed and she was able to see. She was later quoted as saying: “It’s the light — the light; the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!”

Jesus said: “You are the light of the world.”

Isaiah calls it the “light.” He could equally refer to it as “salt.” In this respect, his writings could almost be called another Gospel, for he certainly speaks the heart of Jesus’ message, at least as it refers to love and care for the vulnerable and the poor.

Speaking for God, Isaiah calls us to: “Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.” “Then,” he says “your light shall break forth like the dawn.”

Becoming salt and light is a dual thing. We do it because it seasons and brightens the lives of others, but we also do it because in the becoming of light and salt, our own lives are changed and we discover the power and grace of God in our own lives and actions.

Albert Schweitzer, the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize winner and theologian, organist, philosopher, physician and medical missionary once said: “Do something for somebody everyday for which you do not get paid.” This is one quote out of literally hundreds he wrote in his famous book “Reverence for Life.”

Schweitzer got it. He realized that the Gospel is absolutely true. Living and doing it is not so that we can do good; living and it is so we can be and find good.

We are changed. We discover. We become salt and light.

“One thing I know: The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve,” Schweitzer wrote. Serving, giving, sharing and forgiving — these are the things of gospel living. Schweitzer saw it so clearly.

Jesus IS truly concerned with our happiness. Jesus knows it gets awfully lonely being stuck. Real happiness happens when we go out of ourselves for others. Money can’t buy it.

Power can make it happen but often doesn’t. Prestige and position could multiply it and does for the few. But real happiness can be found in being salt and light.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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