WSC Reflection for February 9, 2020
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time – (Cycle A, Year II)
Community Word: The love of Jesus sanctifies us for God’s glory.
Theme:We are sanctified when we render works of mercy.
Promise: “Lavishly he gives to the poor, his justice shall endure forever, his horn shall be exalted in glory.” (Ps 112:9)
This week’s theme allows us to reflect on charitable works. In the first reading from the book of Isaiah, we are exhorted to share food with the hungry, cloth the naked, shelter the homeless and attend to those who need our help. This exhortation is timely especially after Taal volcano erupted. We witnessed how God’s word touched the hearts of many who volunteered their time and resources to reach out to the displaced victims of the eruption. People from different walks of life came to help by sharing what they have to the evacuees who lost their homes. Our commitment to mercy and compassion flows from the teachings and examples of Jesus and these are concretely expressed in the Church’s teachings on corporal and spiritual works of mercy. And when we do these things, our actions are compared to “a city set on a mountain” that cannot be hidden.
The life of a Christian should be “salt and light” to others. What would we do without salt and light? Both have one thing in common – they are indispensable in our daily life. We put salt in our food to make it palatable and we use light to allow us to see in the dark.Jesus himself showed us how one can be salt and light. He performed miracles for the poor and the sick during His ministry. He extended help to the needy, feeding the hungry, comforting the grief-stricken, healing the sick, giving life to the dead. As salt and light, the service of a Christian is not a service of rites but firstly a service of human need. And since the greatest need of man is God, prayer service are conducted where people can see and taste the goodness of the Lord. We cannot be good Christians by ourselves, but only in our personal relationship with God and our fellowmen, in the context of the world to which we share God’s flavour and goodness with others.
Salt also serves as a preservative. In a time of rampant corruption and moral permissiveness, it is our task as Christians to preserve what is good in the world and in people; it is the great task entrusted to us to preserve the value of Christ in a world that tramples on what Christ gave us as values.Light, Jesus says, is not lit to be hidden. It must be seen to fulfil its purpose. The light Jesus speaks about is not our own light. We are compared to the moon that reflects the light from the sun. The main light we have received and to be shared is love. And love cannot be hidden. Love must manifest itself in words and actions. The light of love we share makes God’s love visible.
In the world today, there is so much darkness and bitterness. It is because we, as Christians, are failing to be salt and light as Christ wants us to be. But we can still make a difference. We can decide to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. Even the smallest candle helps in a world of darkness.We can also give others the taste of God’s goodness when we answer His call to minister to the needs of others, be it temporal, emotional or spiritual. As disciples of Christ, we cannot just be at the receiving end, but more importantly be Christ’s under-shepherds to those who want to see God in their life. As the Lord promises: “Lavishly he gives to the poor, his justice shall endure forever, his horn shall be exalted in glory,” (Ps 112:9).
Lord Jesus, You ask me to render works of mercy and be salt and light to the world around me. But putting this into practice is a challenge because oftentimes I am only concerned with myself. Fill my heart and mind with your truth and light. Free me from the blindness of self-centeredness that I may see Your ways and understand Your will for my life. Give me the grace to offer to You my whole self during my prayer time, worship and service to community missions, all for Your greater glory, that I may radiate Your light to others in word and deed. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions:
1. As a disciple of Christ, where am I struggling with to be “salt and light” to others?
2. Am I aware what the Church teaching on corporal and spiritual works of mercy are? How can I practice them regularly?