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Evansville, Indiana
February 2, 1996     The Message
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February 2, 1996
 

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2, 1996 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana .... 13 "- Commentary_ Salt, light, city on a hill: Christian vocation for the world Fe Gspel COmmentary for bruaPy 4, 1996, Fifth Sunday, In the Old Testament sacrificial CyeleA, Matthew 5:13.16 offerings of grain and meat were sprinkled with salt. Salt became The Sermon on the Mount con- tlaues from last week s intjodsU:, ti0n. Matthew introduced serraon with the eight beatitude . The beatitudes ended wit s ln .... h a bless- 'unOUaced on Jesus' Who .,,rr^_ disc] les ""'" persecution. They a to persecution gladly because reward is great in heaven. Warns that persecution been part of the life of B(N FATHER DILGER COLUMNIST prophet is not someone the future, but a person who mediates W0rdsor the presence of God to the world. No ,hristian can escape the role of being a Christian life. this reason tF, at Matthew continues the with various metaphors or symbols of Christians in the world. The first sym- of a Christian is salt: "You are earth." In ancient times when a victo- wanted to permanently destroy a con- 'they spread salt all through the city and it. That would be one meaning earth. But this saying of Jesus cannot in a negative way. Old Testament [P us determine the positive meaning are the salt of the earth." part of the offerings. Some of the sacrificial offerings were later shared with those who presented the offerings. This sharing in what had been offered to God brought about a "covenant of salt" between God and those who ate the sacri- fice. Salt was used for preservation of food. It was also used for medici- nal purposes. For example, Ezekiel 16:4 implies that a newborn baby was rubbed down with salt. This may, however, not have been medicinal in our sense of the term, but as a preser- vative against or to ward off evil spirits Such a practice seems to have been part of Canaanite cul- ture. The prophet Elijah purified a spring at Jericho with salt so that "neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it." Thus in biblical usage salt seasons, preserves, re- stores health, and symbolizes unity between God and humans. All of these qualities describe the role of Christians in the world. Matthew continues: "If salt loses its saltiness, how can its salty quality be restored? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and walked upon." Just as it is impossi- ble for salt to lose its saltiness, so it is impossible for Christians to escape their vocation to preserve and restore health to society, to bring about unity between God and humanity. The second metaphor Matthew uses for a Chris- tian in the world is light: "You are the light of the world." The beginning of the Bible speaks of the earth as being without form, empty, and dark. The Spirit of God moves over the water and God creates light. It brings form, content, and dispels darkness Christian life is meant to bring form and content to the world and to dispel ignorance about God. Just as Matthew has already told us that Jesus brought light to the nations that sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, so the presence of Christians is meant to bring hope and direction to a world that sometimes seems to be totally disordered. The final metaphor for Christian life in the world is a city on hill: "A city built on a hill cannot be hid- den." The presence of a Christian in society should be as obvious as a city on a hill. All of society should be able to see that presence and be guided by it. Therefore Matthew adds: "A lamp is not put under a cover but gives light to all in the house." We are en- couraged by the final sentence to be open about our life as a Christian because a Christian life will in- spire others to give praise to God: "Let your light so shine before humanity, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." This statement reminds us that we are not alone in the good works of Christian life. The ulti- mate source is God, to whonh belongs the credit. A Christian becomes a channel to God for society. Readings: Isaiah 58:7-10; I Corinthians 2:1-5. lnes Bicknell Sandborn City, Princeton, Pat0ka Lee an Street 9ton, IN 254-3612 PKGS. packages for Prices. ize to 100' sn Stock bFING n Stock. :To Inch. CO. METAL :" Cannelburg. Montgomery D'O'W.N.T.O.W. VlNc._ t:NNEs, IN 47591 Golden Jubilarians Terrell and Florence (Schaefer) Hawkins of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary on Feb. 4 with a celebration for invited guests hosted by their chil- dren. The couple was married Feb. 2, 1946, at St. Anthony Rectory, Evansville. They are the parents of three chil- dren: Jane Bobb, Martha Hape and John T. Hawkins. They have four grandchildren. Mr. Hawkins retired from Whirlpool Corp. in 1984. I I H AUTO TOPS SEAT COVERS BOAT COVERS Golden Jubilarians Edward and Irene (Eble) Schmitt Sr. of Evansville will celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary on Feb. 2. The couple was married Feb. 2, 1946, at St. Joseph Church, Evansville. They are the parents of five children: Julie Schmitt of El Paso, Texas, Ruth Patterson of Wadesvil]e, and Eddie Schmitt Jr., Kenneth Schmitt and Jim Schmitt, all of Evansville. They have three grandchil- dren. Mr. Schmitt retired from Master Tool and Die in 1984. He worked for Schnacke for 25 years, and spent four years in the Navy. Mrs. Schmitt is a homemaker; she makes quilt tops and quilts with the St. Theresa Altar So- BUILDING STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS ciety. 254-3943 K, FSB HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELP, OWNER SHOP SCHNEIDER . .... HEATING & A/C. INC. =... s00.v,c00 DUBOIS COUNTY BANK 428-2665 IN 118 W. Franklin St., Evansville, IN YOUR FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK i I I III