Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 58:7-10 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Matthew 5:13-16
“You are the salt of the earth. …You are the light of the world."
Last Sunday we heard the Beatitudes, Jesus’ fundamental conditions for discipleship, calling for profound inner transformation. This Sunday Jesus gives concrete examples of transformation, introducing two metaphors to show the essence of the ideal way of life for a Christian: salt and light. Salt is an important commodity. It is essential for life and valuable for preserving, seasoning, and purifying.
Light describes a quality of true disciples, shining forth in the darkness of ignorance or faithlessness. Disciples enlighten others, not by words, but by their manner of living pointing the way to Jesus. Disciples have an impact in our world.
In light of the chaos in our country and world these days, how are we called to be salt and light? How are we called to be true disciples? How do we point the way to Jesus?
Using these metaphors Jesus shows the intimate connection between what a disciple is and what a disciple does. Jesus teaches us that what we do flows from who and what we are. We can enlighten the world with the message of the gospel because our lives have been transformed by that gospel, and now we are light for others. We can serve others because we have been saved by God’s grace. Our renewal becomes the means through which God renews the world.
Jesus challenges us to live out our discipleship in the context of our everyday lives. We are to manifest what we are.
Into this shadowed world, Jesus sends us to be salt and light. Our acts of service and self-sacrifice, of forgiveness and generosity and welcoming, reach out and transform the whole earth.
What daily practices do I follow to sustain myself as “salt of the earth?”
Would the people I know think of me as salt or light? How can I provide flavor and light to others?
Sister Mary Ann Collins, OP