Gospel Reflections

Feast of Ash Wednesday

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Gospel Reflection by Sister Bernadette Turgeon

Published: February 26, 2020

In our Gospel, Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount, challenges us to be salt for the earth and light for all in this world to see, and do the kinds of things in any given situation that point us to God.

We are called to be the outward expression of God’s principles, to make a difference by influencing and impacting the world around us, saying and doing the kinds of things in any given situation that help to make the world more like God intended.

When I was a child doing the right thing and helping others, being kind and caring was praised by everyone around me.  In our world today it is very difficult for children to do the same. They are made fun of, bullied and afraid.   All one has to do is watch the news and read the daily newspaper to realize that the world we live in and many people around us have strayed.  I was very touched these past weeks following the death of Kobe Bryant.  He was a role model, certainly a person who lived by salt and light principles and the basketball world listened to him.

How does this Gospel reading challenge us?  It challenges us by what we do and how we act on a daily basis: reaching out to those in need of food, clothes, encouragement, praising people for the good they are doing and helping our neighbors as needed.  Each of us can look around and make a difference in so many ways.

I have been volunteering at a homeless shelter a few days a week.  Homeless and the almost homeless come and go all day.  The staff try in any way they can to help.  There is a table on the first floor that has warm clothes, hats, scarves, socks and toys for children.  Where does all this come from? The staff, the police in the neighborhood, the fire department who brought coats at Christmas.  In our next town they do not have a poor neighborhood, but they collect food for areas that do. They not only deliver the food but volunteer on Monday evenings to distribute it.  At Christmas they bought gifts for a school in a poorer neighborhood.

On this Ash Wednesday and as we begin the Lenten Season may we be responsive just as the Gospel of Matthew challenges us.  May we be light and salt for all!

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