5th Sunday in the Ordinary Time: Salt and Light

02-05-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

Mt 5:13-16

Coming from the Season of Christmas, we celebrated the coming of the glorious LIGHT in the world of darkness, Jesus CHRIST. Jesus came to enlighten us, enliven us with His Spirit, to lead us by His light to the fullness of life in the Father.

I am the light of the world; the man who follows me will have the light of life. The readings challenge us that we are not just receivers of the divine light but are also bearers of God’s light in places and situations of darkness. The source of light is Jesus: when we follow Him, we bring His light with us. In the solemn Easter Vigil - thrice, the minister proclaims: The light of Christ! And the congregation responds: Thanks be to God! And everyone receives the Light of Christ by literally lighting their candles. Now, we become beacons of light. Jesus wants us to be the light of the world. Like a city set on a hill, guiding all His people to the Kingdom. The prophet Isaiah in the first reading, proclaims this challenge by teaching that through our deeds of love: we become the light in darkness and gloom.

God expects us to do our part in His great work and fills us with joy and gratitude at the prospect of being instruments in His redeeming work. It is a privilege to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth; both are ingredients to illumine darkness or give flavor to dullness. Like St. Paul, we respond to the challenge of being a light, in weakness and fear, and with much trepidation. Paul knows that in weakness, distress, persecution, and difficulties for the sake of Christ - we can be powerful. For when I am powerless, I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:10b) For this reason, the way Paul preaches is through the Holy Spirit that enlightens and enlivens, through the power of God and not by human wisdom.

The call to ministry is for everyone. Isaiah recognizes this; that most of us have abundance but are not aware of the call to be generous in our service to others, knowing that we are slow to give. We participate in ministry with our motives imperfect or mixed at best. It could be to assuage our guilt or to feel good about doing what comes from serving others. The Lord does not expect us to be perfect before we begin to be involved in ministry. A little light is much better than no light at all. In truth, the act of serving others can purify our less-than-altruistic mo-tives. When we try to give selflessly, our “light” breaks forth like the dawn, or we leave a flavor of love in our kind of service.

In the Gospel, Jesus says the simplest and most basic description of a disciple is: The salt of the earth and light of the world. Let us make a difference in this world. To be like SALT is to be of substance, and to be like LIGHT is to be of radiance, to give glory to God. Attached to being the salt and light is our mission to follow the path of righteousness and a witness to the divine presence in moments of darkness, dryness, and tastelessness. Therefore, let us not lose our taste and shine. Whatever happens, whatever life brings us, let us persevere in being the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Persistence, perseverance, and faithfulness - to complete the divine flavor, let us add consistency. Lord, grant us these graces in our journey. The journey is not about going far and fast. The real journey is about going on, growing on, staying on, and staying humble all along.