Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 5:13-16

mercy man 3

“Don’t turn your back on your own” Finger Painting: Ronald Raab, CSC 2016

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Dear Believers in Christ our Light,

Several weeks ago when the winds blew strong in Colorado, many people experienced power outages. Many food items were lost when freezers got hot. Many people struggled to heat their homes for their infants and ailing parents. Many were not prepared to walk around in the dark in their own homes without bumping into things. Light became important again when we were without such a necessity.

Jesus has called us to be light and salt to the world (Matthew 5:13-16). These are strong images of survival and life. We know how quickly darkness comes when we cannot see what is right before us. We know the natural ability of salt to preserve and taste our food. Salt and light are ingredients that not only make life worth living, but ultimately are ingredients that we cannot live without. Jesus needs us to show others the way.

In these past few weeks, Jesus has called us again to follow him in the gift of the Holy Spirit in our baptism. This gift of the Holy Spirit fuels our ability to be salt and light for the world. I know these are just images, but they tell us a lot about how we are to respond to the call of mission and service in our world.

Jesus is inviting us to see ourselves as light. This means Jesus is relying on us to show people the beauty, love and hope that God has to offer us. We are to step out of the darkness of doubt, rudeness, laziness and apathy. We are to show the world that our faith means something.

This integrity of light comes to us from the fountain and source of our faith— the power of our connection to Jesus who is the light of the world. When our children don’t participate in faith, they lose the ability to show others the miracles of Jesus. When we grow old and think that we already know what to do and the rules to follow in the Church, we lose the light of faith that gives us purpose and connection to Jesus. We need one another to reveal the light of faith in the world. We need people’s voices to speak up for those who cannot help themselves.

We need one another’s talents to show the world that life in all of its forms has meaning. We need to pursue our faith through continued learning, personal growth and prayer, and through acts of compassion and justice for people in poverty. We need one another to be light! People are relying on us!

Perhaps there is a serious power outage within the hearts of many people who are already Christians. We hide our light under the bushel baskets of ignorance, what others think of us, and even under our own anger and rigidity. We need a new vision of who we are as people of light, people of hope and people who reveal the salt and light to those who need it most.

Here are a few things to pray about this week: How are you light and salt to your family and friends? Who reveals light and hope to you? How does your prayer keep you directed to the Light of Christ? What are those times in your life that you have felt incredible darkness? How do you find hope in your relationship with Jesus?

Blessings to all of you,

Fr. Ron

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