USA Today, the American newspaper, came out with an article, “Why are priests being murdered in Mexico.” Since 2012, there were 23 priests murdered. Through 2018, already 4 priests have been murdered. While nothing concrete has come out from the investigation, many feel it is because they spoke out against drugs and other problems in Mexican society.
In the Philippines, there were 3 priests that have already been murdered and 1 who was able to survive an assassination. The last one happened to Fr. Richmond Nilo, 43, of the Diocese of Cabanatuan. While nothing came out of the investigation, many people feel it is because the Church speaks about what is not right.
In the Gospel yesterday, Jesus reminds his followers that they are light of the world, salt of the earth. As it was then and as it is now, it comes with a price. Jesus was himself persecuted and his followers will surely experience the same.
Yet, despite the high price to pay when we speak up, three things we remember why we have to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world:
- We have lost our moral compass. People no longer know what is right and what is wrong. The wrong is made right and the right is made wrong.
- We forget that all our lives are intertwined. When we bless other people, the blessing comes back to us. If we take advantage of other people, we too will be taken advantaged of.
- We forget how to find true happiness. All the while we think that happiness is in material things, but we know better than that. St. Augustine once said that in the heart of each person is a hole that only God can fill.
In each Mass, we pray that we may do the difficult task to be salt of the earth, light of the world. How true is the saying that “All that needs for evil to prevail is for good people to keep quiet.”