Today’s Gospel from Matthew, taken from the Sermon on the Mount, comes right after the beatitudes. Jesus characterizes his disciples as being ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘light of the world.’ This is presented almost as a command, as in this is what you are to be, what you are to bring to others by your discipleship. Let’s imagine ourselves with the disciples, hearing Jesus bestow this blessing and command upon us. To be ‘salt of the earth’ calls us to keep our faith alive and flavored and fresh. To be as a ‘light of the world’ would presuppose that our faith will shine forth and illuminate others’ lives. Pray about what this can mean for you, what you can effectively interlace in relationships by actions and words. God is truly present in your everyday living. His creative power can truly guide your footsteps as you navigate the everyday journey of living your faith.
Pedro Arrupe, S.J. was born in 1907 in the Basque region of Spain and joined the Jesuits in 1927. He was sent to Japan in 1938, expecting to do mission work for the remainder of his life. Following the Pearl Harbor attack, Arrupe was imprisoned, believing he would be executed for espionage, but was released after 33 days. This experience instilled in him a profound trust in God. In 1958 he was appointed the first Jesuit provincial for Japan. He was elected Father General of the Society and served from 1965 until 1983. Arrupe and Saint Ignatius of Loyola were the only Basques to hold this position. He was wheeled in during the opening of the 33rd General Congregation and read his final prayer expressing the profound spiritual experience “to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands.” Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. died February 5, 1991; his body lies in a side chapel in the Church of the Gesu in Rome.