Matthew 5; 13-16. Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time. February 5th, 2017
Today’s Gospel follows on the heels of last week’s Jesus teaching of the Beatitudes. It reminds us that living the beatitudes is not just for our own spiritual well-being, but for the well-being of other souls as well. Other soul's eternal well-being actually depends whether you and I live the Beatitudes.
Every single Christian is called to strive for holiness by living the Beatitudes in order to be a witness to the whole world of God’s truth and so His Divine Love and Mercy. In other words, by our lives of holiness we are called to seek not only our own salvation but also the salvation of others. As one Jesuit priest put it, “Either we seek the salvation of others or we will not be saved ourselves.”
We are to be witnesses throughout the earth by living the beatitudes in order to lead others to God so that they may to Him in order to be saved and so enter with us into an eternal union of love with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is living our lives for love of God, and for love of neighbor for love of God, consists primarily in working to save our neighbor, even to the point of giving our lives if necessary for the sake of their salvation.
Today, Jesus teaches us this great truth by using the images of salt and light. In the old days, as my mom as told me many times, there were no refrigerators, or freezers, the only way meat was kept from spoiling was to store it in salt. Salt preserves food from spoiling; it also brings out the flavor of food and makes its more pleasant.
The world then is only kept from spoiling by us Christian Catholics being the salt of the earth. If we live our Catholic faith authentically, then we live the Beatitudes and as a result, we give flavor to life in this world. We remind the world and it’s inhabitants of the true meaning and goal of man’s existence. Man has been created by God, for God—Man has been created for Beatitude—which is life lived with, in and for the Most Blessed Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
The world is indeed God’s good creation; it sprung forth from the Eternal Word of God, and through that same Word it is redeemed and called to return back to the Father God, from which it came. This Eternal Word is Christ the Head. But we are His Body, the Church. And it is through the members of the Church, His Mystical Body on Earth, that Jesus continues His redeeming work. Jesus could do it without us, but nonetheless, He has divinely ordained that His grace and Mercy only goes forth from His Sacred Heart, through the Members of His Mystical Body the Church, that is through you and me—we are the salt, that is if we are in the state of grace.
Jesus reminds us however that salt can lose it taste; it other words, if we fail to grow in holiness, if we fail to be witnesses to the world to what is Good, True and Beautiful, then what are we good for, but to thrown out and trampled under foot. And so, if it is possible for us to lose our flavor, our Divine Grace, and to be thrown out, how then to we guard from losing our taste, the taste of holiness? And as well, how can we keep from hiding our light under a bushel basket? How can we give the hungry bread to eat? How can you and truly be the salt and light for our world?
It is by the Holy Eucharist, and only by the Holy Eucharist, received and adored with faith weekly, and if possible even daily, that gives flavor to our lives and that keep the salt from losing it taste. It is the holy Eucharist approached with love and devotion that helps our light shine before Men, for our Light is Jesus, He who is the Eucharist—He alone is the light of the world and our lives must shine forth His life.
The Eucharist is our daily bread, better yet our super-substantial bread, the Bread of Life, Jesus Himself. Only by feeding on Him in faith, trust and love, can we then truly feed the world by leading them to this Bread of whomever eats shall not die but live forever. The world is hungry for the Eucharist, starving for the Eucharist. And as Jesus said before He gave His teaching on the Eucharist in John Chapter 6, when the thousand gathered around Him and the disciples were hungry… “Give them something to eat yourselves…”
The Father’s of the Church wrote that Faithful Catholics who participate fully, actively and consciously in weekly Mass, and receive the Holy Eucharist worthily and in the state of Grace are the anima Mundi, that is, the “soul of the world:” It is them that feed the world! In other words, the “Father’s of the Church taught that, “the world would die in its sins if not for Catholic Christians with the life of Christ, Christ Himself-the Holy Eucharist, alive in their souls.” This life is called charity and we are to share it with the entire world in order that it too might be saved in and through our lives—this is the source of our Beatitude, the strength we need to live the Beatitudes—and this is how we are enabled, empowered to let our light shine before men, the light of Christ.
What I am about to say is not easy to say. As I just said, we Catholic Christians are called to be salt and light to the world; we are called to give the hungry of the world some of our bread. If our world is falling into darkness, the problem is not with Governments, politicians, the economy, the terrorists, or some other great power in this world; no, the problem lies with us Catholics. We have lost our taste, and who can restore it? Only Jesus, Jesus Truly Present In the Holy Eucharist, the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar can; Jesus who truly continues to offer Himself on the Sacred Altar of every Mass, while at the same looking for those who will give themselves to Him, offer themselves totally to Him, in order that He can transformed them into His other selves and so live again in them, using them to continue his saving work out in the world by leading souls back to the God from Whom they came, who loves them beyond all telling and who bids them to return to their Father’s House, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Let us Pray:
Dear blessed Mother at this Holy Mass we offer to Your Immaculate Heart, our heart—totally and completely, please take it and placed it into the Sacred Heart of your Divine Son which is about to become Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist. Help us to receive more fruitfully this same Sacred Heart at Holy Communion, so that by your Divine Spouse—the Holy Spirit, we might be more and more transformed into instruments of God Mercy and Love, for the sake of the whole word, transforming the darkness into light and helping to bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Amen.