Sunday 11 December 2016

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time year ’A’

“Your light must shine in peoples’ sight.”

Is.58,7-10 1Co.2;1-5 Mt.5,13-14

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time year ’A’

“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing and can be only be thrown out and trampled under peoples’ feet.” What gives the taste and flavour to food is salt, this is a universally well-known fact. It is antiseptic, conserves food, is vivifying. In Biblical symbols, it signifies wisdom, expressing friendship and fraternal joy. We have received the whole of the earth from God. We are to communicate to it the taste of the Kingdom, to reveal to it the secrets of the Wisdom of God. Bearers of the Word of God who is the salt of life, we have an urgent role. Jesus makes the link between action of our lives in humanity, which, if delivered to itself, decomposes so easily. Jesus expects us to be the salt of the earth : ’You are the salt of the earth, and the Light of the world’ says Jesus. Salt gives life just as Light. When the sun rises it brightens all of the world’s realities. First of all shapes stand out, then colours that become sharper. This is how nature appears little by little in all its beauty! The same goes for Christ in humanity. Christians, following Jesus, reveal to the world the wealth and the beauty of God’s work, salt of the earth, light of the world. “You are the Light of the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp you put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house.” Jesus takes up another image : "you are the Light of the world.’ This is a huge perspective, out of measure and almost infinite. This Light which is capable of lighting up the world has its mark of modesty. We are just its reflection, its witness. This Light doesn’t have its source from us. It is a participative light coming from God. ’You are the Light of the world.’ It is together that Jesus declares ’you’ are the Light of the world! God has placed something within us, all together, and this must shine out until the ends of the earth, until the end of time. This Light is not something dazzling, but that of grace. This inner Life placed within us by the Creator is given to us by Jesus. It is in this link that the true lighting up of the world resides. It is the clearness bursting forth out of pure love.  This will be the sign : the love you will have one for another, that people will recognise you as my disciples, says Jesus. The visibility of the community is that of the good it does : ’See how they love one another!’  It is our love that is the Light of God and salt for the earth! “In the same way your Light must shine in peoples’ sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.” The third image taken up by Jesus is that of the town on top of a hill, for all to see. The traveller who loses his way in the middle of the night, knows what towns that are lit up in the dark for all to see from afar he knows what they can mean. It is a question of faith that shines all the more it is sung out and shared, celebrated by the whole of Christ’s Body. It is the prefiguration of the new eternal Jerusalem, brought together in elevation and harmony that the lighthouse of the world lights. Today towns can become ’visons of peace’ where the Father will be recognised, because all will live as brothers and sisters. What a lovely light for the earth and what a sign for the world, that a town, an area, a community living under God’s gaze where each êrson tries to conserve the unity of the Spirit by this link that is peace. Our desire is to live from this word of God and to announce it! In seeing what you do good, said Jesus, people will give glory to your Heavenly Father.

We ask for the grace of humility, in order to be in the background so that the Father’s work may appear.