Make a Difference

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I: Isaiah 58:7-10
Responsorial Psalm: 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16

I don’t fly often, but when I do I want it peaceful and quiet around me so I can get into my zone.  You know that zone.  Even though there is a complete stranger sitting next to you, inches away from touching, if you ignore them well enough it is like they aren’t even there.  Today’s blog is about the opposite.  It is about putting someone else’s needs above our own comfort and wants.  I heard someone tell of getting on a plane only to discover that two small unaccompanied children were right behind them.  The Flight attendant tried to keep the two small children occupied but with her duties to the rest of the passengers the children were extremely restless.  After an hour of this a passenger in First class, seeing the frazzled Flight Attendant and hearing the noisy children, got up from her seat and spent the next four hours playing with the children — coloring with them, telling them stories even singing with them.  This one person made such a difference to the flight experience of everyone, especially the children simply by leaving her comfort to assist another.

This weekend’s readings are about our making a difference in the world.  Did you realize that salt has it’s greatest impact only when used to spice something else up?  Who just eats salt?  And light… we all appreciate it most in a dark room on a dark night.  Salt, light — Jesus is calling each and every one of us to be salt and light in the world.

Sometimes we can get the idea that we are only one person, what can we do to make a real difference.  What we do may not make front page news, but it will make a difference in the life we just touched.  That lady who got up from first class created a better experience for all those on that plane.  The hot meal you bring to an elderly neighbor, the mother of three young children you help in the grocery story, the kindness you show a work mate — small acts of kindness have great effects.  St. Teresa of Calcutta said:  Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love.

In this coming week take the time to see the needs of those around you.  Don’t be in such a hurry that you ignore an opportunity to impact the lives that come into your day.  A kind word or gesture is all it takes to make the difference in someone’s day.  Imagine how the Catholic Church could change the world if everyone, and I mean everyone focused their attention on the needs of others in small ways.  By the way, that lady in first class?  My friend said it was Dolly Parton.  I remain,

Your Servant in Christ,

Theresa Lisiecki

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