Is 58:7-10; 1Cor 2:1-5; Matt 5:13-16
Two children, a boy a girl, were playing bahay-bahayan. The neighbor heard that they were fighting and shouting at each other. So this neighbor went to the house in order to find out what was really happened. “Are you quarreling?” he asked. “No, we’re just playing,” said the boy. “We are playing bahay-bahayan. I act as the father and she acts as the mother,” continued the boy. So, parents watch out!
Today’s gospel is the continuation of last Sunday’s gospel. Last Sunday’s gospel showed us the basic attitudes or qualities of the members of God’s Kingdom. These qualities are best described in the beatitudes. Our gospel for today tells us about the task of those members: to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
I will focus on the salt and its characteristics why Jesus Christ compares us to a salt.
First, the salt flavors things and makes the food tasty. We know how tasteless and sickening to bite a food if there is no salt. We eat food because it tastes well and salted perfectly. So also with us Christians, we have to radiate Christ and make Christian values credible and attractive to other people.
When I was assigned in a certain parish as the parish priest, a chieftain of a tribal community approached and told one of the lay cooperators that, he together with the members of the community want to become Catholics. So the lay cooperator told also to me about the intention of the tribal leader and their desire to join the Catholic Church. We went to the community and talked to them. After that, we gave them seminars about the Catholic faith. When I left the parish, the tribal community was on the process of becoming a Basic Christian Community (BCC).
This tribal community wanted to become Catholics may be because of some Christian Catholics who really shown to them about the life of being Christian Catholics.
Second, salt preserves food, keeps things from going bad and rotten. Meat is a dead body and if left to itself, goes bad. But salt preserves it and keeps it fresh.
For us Christians, we must know how to preserve those Christian values so that we may be able to defeat evil ones and may help other people to be good.
An actress was interviewed in one of the television talk show on how she was able to become an actress. She was gifted with beautiful face and attractive body. In other words, she was beautiful. According to her, she studied in a catholic school and was brought by her parents in the catholic faith and values.
After her graduation, a movie director approached and offered her a leading role in a movie he is doing. So she was thrilled. The contract gave her a large amount of money and a vehicle for her to become popular.
She agreed with the role after reading the script. But one day, the director told her that they have changed a scene by which she would have a bed scene with her leading man. And for this, she was offered a large amount of money again as a bonus, but she declined the offer. It is because she studied in a catholic school and she taught of the grave moral harm and scandal that bold scene would do to millions, particularly young people. So the shooting went on minus that bed scene.
Third, Salt creates thirst. Do we ever make anyone thirsty for the Lord?
Jesus said: “You are the light of the world.” But what happen to our world today? Our world is not a better world because we, Christians, the ’representatives and the image of God, are not better persons, rather we are bitter persons. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “I like Christ but I don’t like Christians and the way they live.” This is the reason he was not converted to Christianity.
We hear so many preachers today who do nothing other than remind us that we are sinners. Well, this is true. Then, they quote some verses from the Bible, reminding of the suffering ahead of us if we will not accept Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. I don’t know if this true or not. May be I will be convinced more of what they say if they will not attack us; if they will preach positively by showing example rather than negatively.
There are priests now we know, living immoral lives, have children with different women; also homosexuals and drunkards, very strict and conservative, unapproachable and non-negotiable. We, the people of God look at them as the leader, healer, as our counselor, as our father, as our model and as our example. What happen? We sow rumor against these priests, condemn them, ostracized them and isolated them. But I’ll ask you, remember even just one moment in your life that you pray for your priests? Did you remember even just one moment in your life that you help, support and comfort your own parish priests instead of making gossip against them? If you remember, then your priests are very lucky to have you as their parishioners who are so concern and caring of their pastors. Your priests, even though they are your leaders and shepherds, they also need your own light and encouragement because Christ did not call only priests and religious to become light of the world but each one of us.
Be salt of the earth and the light of the world in our words and deeds
See Today’s Readings: Cycle A