Homily for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The Mission of Every Christian
By: Fr. Cyril Unachukwu CCE
Homily for Sunday February 9 2020
The quality and value of the Christian Life depend a great deal on how much we have positively influenced the lives of our brothers and sisters. This is achieved by using the talents and gifts and abilities God bestowed in us, first and foremost, for the glorification of God the Giver of these gifts, and then for the edification of our brothers and sisters and for the building of a just and safe human community, in such a way that “seeing your good works, they may give the praise to your Father in heaven.” May our lives be sources of inspiration to and upliftment of all those around us; Amen.
To touch and influence positively the lives of others begin with very little things that are sometimes very insignificant to some people and as such neglected. These very little things remain the foundation of what changes the lives of others for good and what helps them to concretely feel the presence of God in their midst. It could be a simple smile, some good words and the sharing of things we possess that are lacking in the lives of others, etc. These simple things form the centre of the prophecy of Isaiah in the First Reading of today (Is 58:7-10); “share your bread with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor, clothe the man you see to be naked and do not turn from your own kin. Then will your light shine like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over.” Every Christian is ordinarily a light lit in the midst of his or her brothers and sisters; and he or she, by his or her Christian way of life, becomes both an inspiration to change in the lives of others and an instrument of change. We are greatest when we help others to grow and we are most holy when we help others to find Christ. This we do by the seasoning effects of the salt we are and the brightening effects of the light of Christ in us. One of the greatest demonstrations of the power of the Holy Spirit in us is putting our talents and gifts to the integral development of the whole human family. This means the diffusion of goodness. This shows clearly how the power of God manifests itself in human fragility
Our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed this teaching in the Gospel Reading (Mt 5:13-16) with the use of two imageries of salt and light. Salt and light, in their proper measures, enhance the goodness and values in other things. Whereas salt ordinarily brings out the best of the taste of other spices when used to cook, light makes the beauty in other things to reflect and to be seen. Our Lord Jesus Christ likened the Christian Life to these two very necessary elements; “you are the salt of the earth… you are the light of the world.” The enhancing capacities in us and the brightening potentialities we possess have their origin in God. He is the source of every form of goodness. He created us to reflect the goodness He is, to live in goodness and to be instruments for the diffusion of this same goodness in the world. Through baptism, we become ministers of goodness! In the words of Saint Paul in the Second Reading of today (I Cor 2:1-5), reflecting the goodness of God, living in goodness and being instruments for the spreading of goodness are not done “with any show of oratory or philosophy.” On the contrary, these are done by simple gestures that truly make palpable the reality of God, Who is Goodness in person, and His perennial closeness to His creatures in every condition of life; especially His greatest act of love for us and goodness towards us in the person of His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. In every performance of goodness God is made known, Christ is preached and there is the “demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit.” To be salt of the earth and light of the world is to be good in our inner-selves, in our families, in our vocations, in our communities, in our relationships with our brothers and sisters, in our places of work and studies, etc. In fact, wherever we find ourselves, to be good means to recognise that we are One Holy Family with common origin and with possible common destination. To be good is the ability to share the gifts of God in us with our brothers and sisters and in so doing we could make the world a better place. Only in goodness can we dispel the darkness of hatred, heartlessness and the height of man and woman’s inhumanity to fellow men and women manifest on a daily basis throughout the world. This is true because “the good man or woman is a light in the darkness for the upright.”
God our Father, ever good and merciful, may our daily encounter with you, especially in the Eucharist, increase the dosage of the goodness we have in us so that we may truly be salt of the earth and light of the world, after the pattern of Christ your Son and by the power of the ever-abiding Holy Spirit; Amen.
Happy Sunday; Fr Cyril CCE