February 9, 2020 – 5th Sunday of the Year, Year A

“Becoming the light of the world and salt to the earth, by reaching out in service to humanity, with total reliance on the Power of the Lord!”

(Based on Is 58:7-10, 1 Cor 2:1-5 and Mt 5:13)

A story is told of a rich man who had three sons.

This man, in his old age wanted to divide his property. But he felt, he would hand over the entire inheritance to one of his sons, than to all, as this would ensure better

So in order to choose, the wisest among them, he conducted a simple test.

Calling the three of his sons, and handing them a hundred rupee note, the father said:

“You see our storehouse (godown) that is at the far end of our property.

>> I want each of you to take this money and buy whatever you want and fill the storehouse to the maximum.

>> The one who fills it, the most, would be the winner of this test and the worthy inheritor of my property.”

The first son went and purchased fire-wood for that amount, and tried to fill the storehouse. It reached to half the level.

The second son went and bought hay (dried grass) and tried to fill the storehouse. It reached to nearly 70 percent level.

The youngest son, however, went to the nearby shop… got a candle and a matchbox.

>> He then went to call his father and two brothers and went to the storehouse.

The storehouse was all dark and quiet.

The youngest son, stepped inside, and striking the match-stick, he lit the candle.

>> Soon enough, the entire storehouse was filled…. Filled with light!

(It’s needless to say, who was the winner of the test, isn’t it?)

Well, our Christian lives are also to be such…

… filling the dark and empty situations of life and of this world, with the Light of Christ!

This is the call of the Readings of the Day.

>> Jesus says in the Gospel, “You are the salt of the earth” (Mt 5: 13) and “You are the light of the world” (Mt 5: 14)

In ancient Greece, salt was considered so valuable it was called, “theon”, divine.

>> The Romans believed that nothing was of more value than salt except the Sun. Roman soldiers were even paid in salt (‘Salary’ comes from the Latin word ‘salarium’, and has the root ‘sal or salt.’

>> An ancient Near Eastern custom still practiced among some Arabs today is that a pact of friendship is sealed with a gift of salt.

This call of the Gospel has gained significant importance and urgency in our world today.

We live in times and generation when the need to be a “salt” and “light” has gained tremendous urgency…

The world is losing a taste for things of everlasting value and instead relishes more of transient materials.

>> Can I be a “salt” in such situations giving the taste of eternity and goodness, to revive lives and to orient them towards the real joys of life?

The world is fast degrading and losing values in various areas like moral life, social situations, cultural integrity and religious fervour.

>> Can I be a “light”, casting away the darkness of ignorance and shedding new illumination and radiance for the revival of sanctified lives?

The world today, and even the Church, sometimes, is sadly deeply getting corrupted and there are strong strands of infection and contamination affecting various core dimensions.

>> Can I be a “salt” which rubs in consciousness for transformation and change and be a healing agent to prick the conscience of people to lead an integral life?

The world and even the Church, sometimes, is easy on closing the eye to the evils that are constantly rising, and fails to be a powerful voice for justice and peace

>> Can I be a “light” which casts its powerful rays on the dark shades of wickedness and expose the inhuman elements of the society, helping towards a harmonious and pleasant world?

“Salt” and “light” are symbols of purity.

>> To be the “salt” and “light” in the world, demands a high level of perfection and holiness in our lives.

Prophet Isaiah clearly reminds us on how to let the Light of the Lord to shine forth in our lives:

“Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; When you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?

>> Then shall your light break forth like the dawn…” (Is 58:7-8).

This translation of the works of the Light into actuality, needs a total dependence on the Power of the Lord

>> Managing with only our human efforts will not suffice; relying on God’s Strength is an essentiality.

St Paul very clearly enunciates this reality when he testifies:

“When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him, crucified…

… that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the Power of God!” (1 Cor 2:1-2, 5)

Yes, we become the light of the world and salt to the earth, when we reach out in service to the humanity…

… filled with a total reliance on the Power of the Lord!

May we be willing to rise up to the challenge of being the “salt of the earth” and “light to the world” so that our Christian values can be preserved and the love of God may shine forth to the world…

… and may we fill the dark areas of life with the Light of Christ, and thus be winners in the contest of life, and so please God, our Father!

God bless! Live Jesus!

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Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Charity never enters a heart without bringing with it all the other virtues, empowering them and marshalling them as needed…

… just as a captain does his soldiers!”

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