I hated my fifth grade teacher, and for all the obvious reason why a 10 year-old would. She was mean to me, she didn’t let me go to the restroom 5 minutes after we returned from recess, she called my mom to tell her when I didn’t do my homework. I couldn’t stand to be in her classroom. One day she came to school wearing a sweatshirt with a cute little bunny giving himself a hug on it with the caption “God loves me.”

In that moment, I first began to understand the truth of that statement. God DID love her as he does all of us. Whenever I think about this passage,  I can’t help but think about how much we are neither salt nor light because of our failings and shortcomings. Jesus saw the goodness of his disciples in today’s Gospel, and what a pep talk!  If we look and find even a scrap of goodness and light in another, we will remember that we too possess it. So let this light shine until all the world does.

—Alfonso Pizano, SJ is a Jesuit scholastic of the California Province, studying philosophy at Fordham University.