“You are the light of the world – You are the salt of the earth.” These words of Jesus are not addressed privately to the group of his twelve apostles. They are directed instead to all his disciples. That this is the case, is underlined by the fact that in today’s liturgy the church links this Gospel passage to the first reading from the prophet Isiah. There the Lord, speaking through his prophet, addressed not just a special group but the whole people of Israel. “Your light must shine like the dawn – your light must rise in the darkness.” This means of course that as disciples of Jesus, we are meant to hear these words being addressed directly to us both as individuals, yes, also as a community of faith. We together are called to be salt for the people of our time. We are called to be present in the midst of our society as a community of faith which preserves the integrity and wholeness of our community, just as salt preserves food from decay. We are meant to be like salt added to food, a presence which brings out the best in our society. And we are meant to be like a light shining in the darkness of our society, helping people to find their way to the fulness of life God so deeply desires for all his children. This is a responsibility we all share as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is the task we have been given by the Lord who has called us into his church so that together we can be a clear and living and attractive sign of the ongoing presence of Jesus in our world today. And because of the greatness and importance of this task this vocation, the Lord has called and continues to call from among us men whom he chooses to live the priestly life and ministry and men and women whom he calls to religious life. For all those extraordinary women and men who have given their lives in generous service to us. We should give thanks to God and show our support for them through our prayer, our encouragement and our friendship.