Thus says the LORD: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am! If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
Gospel Cycle Cycle A
Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 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. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
This Sunday we could start with the Gospel. We are the salt of the earth. Yet we recognize that we can lose our saltiness. We can lose the energy of following Christ in our daily lives. We are the light of the world and yet we can hide that light and be only darkness to others.
We know that Jesus does not come to discourage us but to encourage us. Jesus shows us the challenge and invites us to learn how to be salt and light for others who are seeking meaning in their lives. Part of our love for others is to walk on the path of the Lord as witnesses because we have found the Lord.
The first reading today, from the Prophet Isaiah, also shows us the way to be salt and light: by serving the poor. If we serve the poor, then our light shall break forth like the dawn, and our wound shall quickly be healed. Far too often our focus is on ourselves rather than on loving others. We get caught up in our own pains and wounds and forget that serving others is the best healing of all that ails us. Serving others brings salt and light into our lives.
Saint Paul tells us in the First Letter to the Corinthians that he himself had resolved to know nothing while he was with other Christians except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. This is a clear reference to Paul embracing the cross by suffering for others. That is how we know Jesus crucified. We must ourselves take up the cross and follow Him. If we can do this, the our faith will rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
My sisters and brothers, we are in the life only once. God has created us and God will call us to Himself. God has sent His only Son, Jesus, to show us the way to the Father. We should not be frightened that this way is difficult at times and demands sacrifice on our part. We want to become fully alive in the Lord. So let us serve the poor, watch out for those who need our help, love all those are in need—and so walk with Jesus to the Father.
We want to be the salt of Christ. We want to be the light of Christ. We want to draw others to Christ so that they can know His love and His salvation. If we are on the path with Jesus Christ, then we know Him ourselves and can delight in His love. Because we know His love, we can share it with one another. Praise to Jesus now and forever. Amen.