May we be salt for the earth and light for the world

FEBRUARY 9, 2020 FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Lec. 73)

1) Isaiah 58:7-10

2) 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

3) Matthew 5:13-16 Gospel related: CCC 326, 782, 1243, 2821

FOCUS: You are the salt of the earth … and the light of the world, Jesus says to his disciples. And salt that has no flavor is good for nothing, while a lighted lamp under a basket fails to dispel the darkness.

No one here would deny there is too much darkness in the world. We also know how much we dread the dark days of winter and can’t wait for the days to start getting longer again. Illness and depression are often linked to the lack of light. We all relish in the “bright sunshiny day” Johnny Nash sang about back in the seventies.

As faithful followers of Jesus, it is now our responsibility to disperse the darkness we encounter around us with the Light of Christ that dwells within each of us. As congregations and communities, we have to hold our civic leaders accountable for decisions that bring darkness to the world instead of light. We also need to praise our civic leaders when they buck what may be popular and choose to do what is right.

The prophet Isaiah says, Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. These are all concrete ways in which we flavor the earth with God’s goodness, and allow light to break forth in darkness. But these are not the only ways.

Jesus’ metaphors do not have to frighten the introverts among us – we are not required to be a giant pillar of salt, or a strobe light on an airfield. Each of us has the opportunity to glorify God according to our gifts, our circumstances and our state in life. So even if all we can offer is a grain of salt, or a flicker of a match light, that is OK. Whatever we have been given by God is meant to be shared for the sake of the world. Whatever we have is worth giving.

May the Lord grant, as Saint Paul says, that our faith mightrest not on human wisdom but on the power of God, that we may be salt for the earth and light for the world.