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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 6, 2020

February 9, 2020


Isaiah 58:7-10

Psalm 112:4-9

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Matthew 5:13-16

I suspect that most of us have received some measure of praise or adulation in our lives.  In fact we can all think back to when we were quite young and received congratulations for scoring a goal, making a basket or for any other sports triumph.  We were congratulated as students for getting an “A” on an exam, as an employee for receiving a promotion or a bonus for a job well done, or for a person who serves our country in our great military who receives a medal for various reasons.

What about the compliments we hear our Lord give His disciples in today’s Gospel?  “You are the salt of the earth,” and “You are the light of the world.”  Today, Jesus is telling us to take the compliments while we can.

When we listen to the Gospels you can believe that Jesus speaks through His disciples and directly to all of us.  You see, we are His contemporary disciples, the ones who are here and now in this moment in time.  So here Jesus is, speaking to us through His Gospels.  But, are we listening to Him?

Do we have to consider the “gap” between Matthew’s Gospel of time (2000 years ago,) and the “gap” in our cultural differences?  Jesus was a man of another age.  We need to be careful that we do understand what He says, and that we are hearing His words not only through our ears but in our hearts, our minds and our souls.  We all know that Jesus is the same, “yesterday, today and forever!”

So the, let’s look at the two compliments Jesus gave to His disciples and to us:

The Light of the WorldCalling us “light” is something most of us can comprehend.  Our actions shine forth for the entire world to see, and hopefully those actions can inspire others to do the same.  With this we can look to the saints for inspiration, guidance and intercession. 

On April 27, 2014 Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II were canonized and became saints.  Two men who were a “light” to the world.  But, we all know that Jesus Christ is the true light of the world.  We should all shine so that others may see our good deeds as we continually praise God.   The shinning I speak of does not mean self-promotion or self-glorification but the bearing of fruit in our life, bringing the “Light of Christ” to others.  To be a light is to follow Jesus as we struggle to bring about social justice in our society, to safeguard human rights, to protect life from natural conception to natural death and to work for peace and reconciliation.  To be a light of the world is to live “The Beatitudes.” 

The Salt of the Earth:  What does it mean to be “salt?”  When we want to stress a persons worth we often say that she or he is “the salt of the earth.”  In the ancient world, salt was highly valued.  In fact the Greeks called salt “divine.”  Salt performs two important functions; it is the most common of all preservatives for keeping food from going bad and it gives taste and flavor to food.

As followers of Christ our task is to be the salt of society, preserving, adding taste, and by giving meaning where there is not meaning and by giving hope where there is no hope.

To be the salt of society means that we are deeply concerned with its well being.  We preserve cultural values and moral and environmental principles and make a contribution to the development of cultural and social life.  We add taste and flavor to the common good.

May the light of Jesus shine through us so that people may praise our Father in heaven as St. Paul reminds us, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2.) 

May your “light” never go out nor your “salt” shaker ever become empty.

Question of the Day:  Are you prepared to live the Beatitudes and become a source of light to the world and to preserve the Words of Jesus through His Holy Gospel? 

Prayer:  Lord God, grant to me and to all human beings the grace necessary for salvation. 


Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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