Last week, Fr. Thomas Rosica led a three-day mission, from March 11th to 13th, at St. Clement Parish in Etobicoke, Ontario. The theme was “Jesus of Nazareth: God’s Parable for Humanity.” For each of those three nights, from 7-8:30 pm, around 150 interested participants listened to Fr. Rosica speak about Parables for the Lenten journey and the great Christian drama of the Passion and Death of Jesus. EXCEPT for one night – Thursday, March 12th.
That night, two Salt + Light producers – Pedro Guevara Mann and Alicia Ambrosio – and I presented on the Christian call to be Salt and Light in the world. Fr. Zimmer, pastor of St. Clement Parish, started off the mission by reading the passage from Matthew 5:13-16, on Christ’s call for all of us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Pedro offered an introduction and asked everybody, “What is salt used for?” A few of them replied, “To season.” Pedro continued, “How about baking bread, how much salt do you use?” A few replied, “Very little,” “A dash,” “A pinch.” Pedro went on to describe how you need just a pinch, but without that pinch, it won’t be the same. And he asked the same things about light --- it helps us to see, and to see more clearly.
It was my turn to be up. “To be salt and light for me means to connect with other people’s stories, to be 100% present. Do we take the time to be present to people around us, to visit with people who need us, not just when we need something from them?” I also described how I love knowing about people’s stories in my work as a producer at Salt + Light, and how these stories inspire me to be a better and more faithful person.
Alicia was the next to stand up. “To be salt and light for me means to connect with the universal church. Do you know how many podcasts and websites and blogs are available out there for our own faith enrichment? Have you even tried reading the latest encyclical? Check out www.vatican.va
!” She also showed clips of some of her programs when she interviewed important Vatican personnel about media and communications, and how she is inspired to be constantly in touch with the Church.
Pedro was the last one to give his witness talk. “To be salt and light for me means to connect with God, and I do that through music, through devotional programming, through praying through the arts.” And he proceeded to show a video of images from World Youth Day 2002 set to the music of Susan HooKong-Taylor and Ana de Costa, the Song of the Cross.
It was a wonderful night, many people approached us afterwards to thank us for our testimonies and our presentation. It was a great opportunity to be salt and light for each other.