miércoles, 12 de febrero de 2014

“You are the salt of the earth… the light of the world.”

5th Sunday in the Ordinary Time
February 9, 2014
Mt 5:13-16

In today’s Gospel, Jesus makes use of metaphors to stress a point. He told his audience to be salt and light. But how is it exactly to be that?

If it were today’s young generation listening to his discourse, we can be sure they’d pick up the meaning of those words according to their context. To be “salt of the earth” could mean for them to be the “life or spice of the party,” meaning, the center of attention or attraction in a wild party, or to be a truly gifted DJ who could whip up a torrent of music that can heat up the dance floor to a frenzy.

Sorry but it’s not that. If we dig deeper into the versatility of salt, we’d find out that it doesn’t only add the salty taste; it also brings out the natural flavors of the food into which it is added. It even has preservative, hygienic/cleansing properties and more. The best part is that during or after the process of serving its purpose one does not see the salt’s presence anymore. Once it is mixed with the food and has enhanced the dish’s taste, the salt itself becomes invisible to the naked eye. It rather directs our senses to the result of its interaction with the food, it manifests the unique and natural taste or flavor.

Were we to redirect that in view of our Church’s current thrust in the new evangelization, a Catholic Christian working like salt would dare immerse, dissolve himself while living out the Gospel within his family or social circle, just silently allowing and trusting the Spirit to make his moral and spiritual convictions radiate into the lives of others around him. Like the salt, it is a bold act, yet silent and discreet so that the modern apostle may for always be on guard not to claim credit as the Truth himself but only its commissioned bearer. That same Truth — being no other than Jesus Christ — will surely manifest himself in God’s time. The point is, if the bearer remains true to his calling, the Truth he bears in himself will just naturally shine effortlessly. There goes the “salt of the earth” becoming at the same time the “light of the world.”

There is no secret formula to achieving that other than being grounded on the fact that we are not the original salt and light. Rather we are just second rate, though nevertheless good, imitators of the genuine One. The Gospel of last Sunday’s Feast of the Presentation has the key: Simeon spoke of the infant Jesus as the “light to be revealed to the nations.” Jesus Christ, therefore, is the original source of light. What he is telling us today is simply to follow his example.

- Sem. Dennis Mercurio


Lord Jesus, may our communion with you bring us to live our call to be the salt and light of the nations! Amen.

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