"You are the salt of the earth……You are the light of the world.”
Over the past several weeks I’ve been writing about a renewed effort in the area of social concerns at St. Mary’s. My reflections have been guided by two primary sources: the Gospel of Matthew (which we have been hearing proclaimed at mass since the 3rd Sunday of ordinary time) and the writings of The United States Council of Bishops (USCCB.)
Today, I’d like to share a little more from the latter of these two sources, namely: Communities of Salt and Light: Reflections on the Social Mission of the Parish. Though first published in 1993, this document remains relevant and provides framework within which we can work. The entire document can be found at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/communities-of-salt-and-light-reflections-on-the-social-mission-of-the-parish.cfm
Here is an excerpt:
At a time when the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, we insist the moral test of our society is how we treat and care for the weakest among us…..In these challenging days, we believe that the Catholic community needs to be more than ever a source of clear moral vision and effective action. We are called to be the "salt of the earth" and "light of the world" in the words of the Scriptures (cf. Mt 5:13-16). This task belongs to every believer and every parish. It cannot be assigned to a few or simply delegated to diocesan or national structures. The pursuit of justice and peace is an essential part of what makes a parish Catholic.
The USCCB points to 8 areas where the social mission of the church is to be infused. They are:
1. Prayer and worship
2. Education and Formation
3. Family, Work and Citizenship
4. Charity and Outreach
6. Community Organizing
7. Global Solidarity
8. Issue Specific
This leads to the following 2 questions:
1. What are we at St. Mary’s currently doing?
i.e. to what existing projects/endeavor can an interested
parishioner attach themselves?
2. Into what areas can direct new energies?
We are in the process of planning an initial gathering of the social concerns team. Send me an e-mail or contact me through the parish office if you’d like to be a part of the effort. Thank you to those who have already reached out.