Homily for 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A (FIFTH SUNDAY)
Theme: The Role of Christians
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt. 5:13-16) Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
In today’s Gospel Jesus defines the role of the Christian. The Christian should be the “salt of the earth” and the “ light of the world. Note that this was mentioned after teaching them about the Beatitudes. Jesus wants His followers to matter and be involved in the world.
They will continue and sustain His presence wherever and whenever they have encounters with people. The analogy of the salt and light gives a very strong and clear message of their involvement.
Salt is a very important seasoning since it’s discovery. The Greek regarded it as something which contains something divine. The Romans, on the their hand, paid their soldiers with salt. Thus, a soldier who did not carry out his duties “was not worth his salt.”
Salt’s most important role is to preserve. It follows that the Christian is expected to preserve the culture of holiness, humility, peace, and other Gospel values contained in the Beatitudes. We cannot be fence sitters and detached from what are happening around us. Jesus is still the saviour of the world. But He commands us to participate in His world of salvation by witnessing to His words.
Salt, in order to preserve and give flavour must come into contact with meat, fish, and vegetables. In the same way, the Christian should be available with his neighbor, whether in the workplace, community activities, family, and other places and moments of encounter. Proclaiming the Good News is urgent but it needs prudence. By witnessing to the Word of God, we flavour our neighbours with it.
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Being the “light of the world” gives a similar job description. Let it be clear that JESUS is the LIGHT. He shared that light to us. It is our duty to make that light be shared to others too. It means that we are not only responsible for our own holiness. We ought to touch the lives of others and, together, journey towards holiness. And that can be achieved by our works, witnessing, and way of life. Jesus commanded us to let our light shine before others and our good deeds maybe seen and the Father maybe glorified.
The beginning of the first reading gives us a concrete way of achieving this. It says:
“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.”
Fulfilling our being salt of the earth and light of the world helps us achieve holiness and at the same time, spread holiness that others maybe holy too!
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