The Good News for the Day, Sunday, February 5, 2023
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (73)
Jesus talks to you and me, “You are the salt of living. If salt gets ruined, how can you make it any good again? It’s no good. You throw it out and use it on sidewalks.
You are the Light of the World.
You shine in your world. Nor can you hide some whole town that sits on a hillside.
Nobody turns on a lamp to then just cover it up with a box. People put it some place where it can shed light for people in the house. Let your glow shine out for people so that they see the good you do. They then will appreciate your Father in the other realm.” (Matthew 5)
Reflections of the Word of Jesus
Somehow these poetic images translate into your instincts. They are–as usual–not commands but describe habits of living. But unless they are part of your character and soul, they are worthless poetry, images, ink. They are as much a part of you as your breath and gall bladder and fingers. Let us look at that aspect:.
“You are the salt of the earth.” But what is the reality Jesus is talking about? I remind you that Jesus is describing you. He is not ordering you to become “salt of the earth.” The question is: How are you the salt of the earth right now – reading this, going to your job, playing with your children, during your meal, driving on vacation, watching football?
It is not that you are praying to Jesus or God. It is deeper and more woven into your every moment. How? By doing and being what your inner heart is telling you to do–the voice of God within, your conscience. Sometimes, yes, watch football, enjoy the nap, and just sit quietly with your spouse–appreciating the good.
Something else is true. You preserve the past in your habits, your faith, your consistency of character, your continuing influence on lifelong friends and family. More than that, you improve the flavor of life of others,. By your choices, by your graciousness in their lives – your forgiveness, understanding, patience—and listening., you are constantly making lives different and better.
You are the Light of the World
“You are the light of the world,” because your dawn-like glow of happiness and peace contributes peace and happiness to it. As you shine forth mercy, humility, and calm judgment, you enlighten others in their minds. And you lighten their hearts from their burdens. You are a bright person for the darkness around you. Of course, you get challenged for this, but you persist.
You do not contribute to the world’s gloom of hate and fear. Nor are you an empty echoing of the thoughtless , mindless void stuff you hear on the news. No, out of the fullness of your heart, you create afresh the light of God’s love around you. Not by arguing, the way a light bulb does not argue with the darkness. It just does its essence.–it shines.
And “a City on a Hill”
“You are a city on a hill.” –a city of so many people you have met and absorbed into your own soul . Sometimes a teacher or relative inspired you. Or a friend has challenged you. Sometimes a child says something insightful Each one penetrates your defenses and has enriched you, bringing in their talents and gifts to make your character and habits wealthier, a better place to be.
The Importance Here
This mutual benefit enables you, in your mature wisdom, to welcome the stranger, the widow and the orphan, the oppressed and the homeless. You attract the daily asylum-seekers who come to your warm presence. You are salt to re-flavor their life. And your shining character brightens their life. Finally, you have received a wealth of loving and understanding from others that has come from God. You are a whole city of shining gold and splendor hidden from the eyes of the world. But that is what you are!