Homily for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.”
By: Rev. Fr. Adonis V. Mamuyac, OSJ
Homily for Sunday February 9 2020
The Gospel speaks about salt losing its saltiness. That can be hard for us to imagine. Once you take a pinch of salt and season the food, the salt itself is gone. You don’t see the salt anymore.
I remember our professor in Scriptures saying how it can be possible for salt to lose its taste. Their salt is unlike ours. Theirs come in the form of chunks or salt rocks. They put it inside a clothe and dip it into the pot while cooking food. It is very much like the way we use teabags. After some time the salt rock loses its taste or much of it at least. Then they can toss it outside on foot paths where they serve to stabilize the ground.
Now we can better understand what Jesus is trying to tell his disciples and all of us when he says: “You are the salt of the earth.” Like Jesus we are to spread the Good News. But we must imbibe first within ourselves the Good News for people to believe in us and the Good News that we proclaim. Otherwise, we are just like the salt that has lost its saltiness.
Jesus also says: You are the Light of the world. When we spread the Good News, we are like people holding the candle for everyone to be able to see and move around properly. But as we hold the lighted candle, the light also touches our faces. It exposes us as well, both our goodness and the otherwise. And if people don’t like what they see in us they might run away from the light instead of going to the light.
This is the challenge for all of us, especially our leaders in organizations, businesses, schools, in church and in government, and most especially parents. I am reminded of a story about children playing in the family’s nursery room. The children were making a lot of noise and commotion. Concerned, the mother checked in on them and asked them what they were quarrelling about. And the eldest child said: Mommy, we’re not quarrelling. We’re just playing mom and dad.
Indeed, actions speak louder than words.
If it were Jesus he would have said: You are the salt of the earth and light of the world.
I don’t know if I remember it right but there was this commercial many years ago about a woman, who noticed that a fellow passenger left a wallet as he disembarked the jeepney. Instead of calling out the passenger, she stealthily slides the wallet towards herself before putting it into her bag. Unknown to her, her daughter was watching her. And then a message flashed which read: “Ang maling ginagawa ng matatanda nagiging tama sa mata ng bata.”
If Jesus was the director of the commercial may be it would have read: “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”
Although it is disputed, but it is to St. Francis of Assisi that many have attributed these words of wisdom: “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.”
There was a teacher who was a Christian and was invited to teach in Japan. But for that to proceed, he would have to agree not to teach or say anything at all about Christianity. He complied religiously with his end of the bargain. He lived a very exemplary life so much so that at least 40 students of his were inspired. They agreed among themselves to abandon their original religion and were later converted.
So much for words. That is also why I tried to give examples. At least in stories. It is time to act on Jesus’ declaration: “You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.”