THE GOSPEL OF SALT AND LIGHT HOMILY FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

salt and light

A world Without Salt and Light?

Who can imagine a world without salt and light? Such a world would be tasteless, dark, and utterly weird. Salt and light are two essential valuables we need every day, either directly or indirectly. We also use salt to add taste to food, the preservation of food and for healing. There are other uses of salt, for instance, cleaning, melting of snow and other things; in fact, there are about fifty-five smart uses of salt inside and outside the home.

Light, on the other hand, may not need so much explication with regards to its importance. First, nobody will be able to read this reflection without the foreground of natural or artificial light. Primarily, we use light to see, we get vitamin D from the sun and it helps plants to grow and produce the food we need. Through the sunlight, we harvest solar energy which could be useful for a variety of things. In short, we depend on light to live meaningfully on earth.

The First Reading today (Isaiah 58:7-10) tells us that our love, mercy, and compassion, especially to the poor, would make our light to break forth like the dawn. Furthermore, we shall experience divine healing and vindication while the glory of God would surround us bringing answers and solutions to our problems. The responsorial psalm lends support to the oracle of the prophet when it says: “the just man is a light in darkness to the upright.”

In the Gospel Reading (Matthew 5:13-16), our Lord Jesus Christ brings the phenomenon of salt and light together to describe the vital and functional characteristics of a true Christian. Let us go through some of those lines again for clarity:

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste with what can it be seasoned? You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.

It is very clear from the Gospel narrative that our Lord is asking us to become a positive influence in the world like salt and light. From the excerpt above our Lord asked: “But if salt loses its taste with what can it be seasoned?” In other words, when salt loses its taste-giving value, what would help it to regain its flavor since salt has to give taste? The answer he gives is that it would be good for nothing.

Moving Forward: On Becoming Salt and Light of the World Around Us

At this point in this reflection, it has become vital for us to begin to consider ourselves the salt and light of our families, workplaces, associations, church community and the society we live.

We become salt by bringing the flavor of truth to the world that is made bland by lies and dishonesty. Our Lord Jesus Christ says: “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). We become salt by bringing healing to those who are wounded and hurting after the manner of God who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). We become salt by helping to cleanse the world of moral and spiritual decay.

We become light of the world, on the other hand, by dispelling the darkness of doubt and bringing clarity to everything. We are living in a world beclouded by uncertainty, confusion and unclarity. Our Lord says in the Gospel that we should not hide but stand out to shine, “A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

We become light to a sad world by bringing joy and hope. We become light to the world by bringing hope to the hopeless. We become the light of the world by proclaiming peace and the good news to the troubled in our midst.

The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi gives us an excellent summary of how we can become the Salt and Light of the world:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let your love increase
Lord, make us instruments of your peace,
Walls of pride and prejudice shall cease
When we are your instruments of peace. (Refrain)

Where there is hatred, we will show his love
Where there is injury, we will never judge
Where there is striving, we will speak his peace
To the millions crying for release,
We will be his instruments of peace

 

(Refrain)

 

Where there is blindness, we will pray for sight
Where there is darkness, we will shine his light
Where there is sadness, we will bear their grief
To the millions crying for relief,
We will be your instruments of peace.

 

God bless you and have a beautiful week ahead.

 

Fr. Bonnie.

 

 

 

One Comment on “THE GOSPEL OF SALT AND LIGHT HOMILY FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D.

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