February 9, 2014 - 5th Sunday, Ordinary Time, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
You are a sinner. You are a failure.
You are so stupid. You are a loser.
If we hear these words often enough, we begin to believe that we are no good, to be thrown out and trampled upon.
But Jesus says we are something we may not realize.
We already have a gift that maybe we haven’t discovered or developed.
You are salt! You are light!
Notice, it’s not: You should be salt. You can become salt.
You are called to be salt. Nope, it’s none of those.
It’s a simple declaration of fact: You are salt! You are light!
What a wonderful gift God has given us.
Think of all the people who have been salt and light for us, how they have affected our lives and helped us, how they have brought about change in us because they cared about us.
They are salt and light! We are salt and light!
We are called to become what we already are.
Salt does not exist for its own sake.
No one sits down to eat salt.
Salt is quite unremarkable really.
It’s commonplace and can be found in everyone’s kitchen.
It blends invisibly into the foods we eat. Its presence unnoticed until we taste. And then, an explosion of flavor.
Salt is a seasoning. It’s meant to flavor the food we eat.
It makes the food we eat taste better.
Imagine French fries or popcorn without salt.
As salt, our mission is to bring zest and meaning and flavor to people, to live life with passion. We are flavor for the world!
In the same way, light does not exist for its own sake.
It’s just the opposite of inconspicuous salt.
It is not hidden. It shines everywhere.
It’s there so that people might see what is around them.
It penetrates and overcomes the darkness.
As light, our mission is to shine for all to see, to use our own unique gifts and talents to light up our dark world.
We are light for the world!
How can we work to become what we already are:
salt and light?
The prophet Isaiah tells us how to season and shine.
Share your bread with the hungry.
Shelter the oppressed and homeless.
Clothe the naked.
Then your light will break forth and your wound will be healed.
Then you will call and the Lord will answer.
You will cry for help and he will say, “Here I am.”
The choice is ours.
To season or be discarded?
To shine or be hidden?
Sometimes people may say mean and hurtful things:
You are a failure. You are a loser. You are so stupid.
If we’re not careful, we might begin to believe them.
But we shouldn’t, because Jesus says something very different:
You are the salt of the earth.
Go, therefore, and season everything in your life and the lives of the people around you.
You are the light of the world.
Go, therefore, and let your light shine for all to see.