HOMILY FOR 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
HOMILY THEME: CHRISTIANITY WOULD BE VAGUE WITHOUT GOOD WORKS
By: Rev. Fr. Jacob Aondover ATSU
READINGS: ISAIAH 58:7-10, PSALM 112, 1CORINTHIANS 2:1-5, MATTHEW 5:13-16
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord the day we accepted baptism, we accepted to be advocates of Christ: being salt and light to the world. As salt we chose to add the flavour of God to the seeming tasteless situations in our world. And as light we declared to follow the ultimate light, Christ who shines in the darkness and is not submerged (Jn. 1:5). We chose to shine before people so that seeing the good we do, they may praise God (Matt. 5:16). Be salt and light enough to all. Be good to all. Keep in mind Matthew 25:35-46, the criteria for God’s judgment over us.
In antiquity, salt was connected with purity. For the Romans, since it came from the purest of all things, the sun and the sea, it was the symbol of purity. Our world glories in the lowering of standards – standards of honesty, diligence in work, standards of conscientiousness and morality. The Christian who finds himself in these situations must hold aloft the standard of purity in speech, conduct and thought. In the words of St. James (1:27), may I exhort the true Christian to strive to keep himself unstained by the world.
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Salt was also was the commonest of all preservatives. As used by Christ today, we can afford to say that our saltiness should preserve us from corruption. In the words of William Barclay “If Christians are to be salt to the world, they must have a certain antiseptic influence on life”. We must have a cleansing effect on life; our mere presence should defeat corruption and help others tread the path of goodness. Moreover, Christianity is to life what salt is to food. As food without salt is a sadly insipid and even sickening thing, so is life without the flavour of Christ baseless.
Consequently, my friends in the Lord, Jesus commands us to be the light of the world. This simply translates to him saying we should be like him; for he said in John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” His followers therefore cannot but be radiators of this light in order to conquer the darkness of sin, vice, evil etc. He intends that our light be seen, but how; Isaiah’s prophecy answers that. That we practice the corporal works of mercy: sharing our bread with the hungry, sheltering the afflicted and homeless, clothing the naked and not being indifferent to the plight of others; only then will our light break forth for the world to see and so, give glory to our Father in heaven (Cf. Isa. 58:7-8). The prophet further buttresses this fact in verses 9b-10 thus: “If you remove the yoke from among you, the accusing finger, and malicious speech; if you lavish your food on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then your light will rise in the darkness and your gloom become like midday.”
Beloved friends, the Letter to the Hebrews 13:16 reminds us: “DO NOT BE WILLING TO FORGET GOOD WORKS”, through our good deeds we can show forth the light of Christ to others. Through our shining examples of righteousness, we can guide others onto the right track; we can warn those living in darkness of the impending disaster that would befall them. Consequently, through our shining examples of charity and righteousness, we could bring others to praise God and in turn earn a spot for ourselves in eternity.
Today more than ever I’d the call to FEED AND EDUCATE ONE more expedient.
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