Year A: Homily for 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Homily Theme: Salt and Light
By: Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji
Today, the Holy Mother church continued in presenting to us the sermon on the Mount. After the beatitudes of the famous Gospel of Matt. 5:1-12, where Jesus taught about the blessed of the Lord. People are not blessed just for themselves, but also for the world and particularly for those around them. For this reason, in today’s Gospel Jesus describes his followers or Christians as the salt of the earth and light of the world.
Jesus uses salt and light, very common elements, as images for the mission of his followers. Salt and light are ordinary yet they are extremely important because without salt there is no taste in food and without light there is darkness and no life. Our appearances as Christians in the society should be like salt; a universal commodity. Also, like light; a universal necessity. These elements exist not for themselves but for others, so we ought to do.
YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH.
In many African villages where there is no electricity, generator or solar inverter, one way of preserving meat is to apply salt to it and then dry it. Meat is a dead body and if left itself will go bad, but salt preserves it fresh. Christians as salt of the salt should have certain antiseptic influence on lives of others in the society. We should defeat corruption and become cleansing antiseptic in any place we found ourselves.
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Salt lends flavour to things. Food without salt is sadly insipid. Christianity is to life what salt is to food. Christians should impart joy and not sorrow. Our outlook should not be like mourners at funerals but diffusers of joy.
Salt was connected with purity. It was the purest of all things. Therefore, our conducts, speech and thought should be pure in standard with others who are not followers of Christ.
YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
Jesus told his followers again, you are the light of the world. A city built on a mountain top cannot be hidden. A man does not light a lamp then cover it with box. No. He puts it on a lamp stand so that when people see the good things you do, they praise your father who is in heaven.
God is the source of light. Jesus is the light of the world and those who fellow Him will never walk in darkness. For us to shine, we must get connected to Jesus and remained in contact with Him; the source of light. In other words Jesus is commanding us to be like Himself.
Light is meant to be seen. therefore, our Conducts should be reflects Christlike.
A light is a guide. Christians must make the way clear to others. That is to say, Christians must of necessity be examples. One the things which this world and our community precisely need more than anything else is people who are prepared to be channels for goodness and not otherwise. There are many boys and girls seeking for job, admission and etc, but if no one gets them connected, they will not get there. Look around you and see if your position can lead people to their destination, if not your lamp is covered.
A light can often be a warning light which tells us when there is danger. We should bring necessary warning to others. Our warning should not be given in anger, irritation, criticism, and condemnation. Not in desire to hurt but in love.
The light which can be seen, the light which warns, the light which guides – these are the lights which Christians must be.
As we make resolute today to be salt of the earth and light of the world, may our good deeds attract people to praise God and give him all glory.
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