The Gospel according to Matthew (5:13-16)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”.
In today’s Gospel, we hear of three images that remind us of how different we are who are followers of Jesus. We are called to be “salt for the earth”, the “light of the world”, and a “city set on a hill”. What do these have in common? They all stand out. That’s what we are called to do today as well.
This last weekend, we celebrated our fourth anniversary of ordination to the Diaconate. Living as a deacon couple definitely qualifies as being a “light” and a “city set on a hill”. Everything that Chuck & I do is seen in the light of being a deacon couple. It’s a good reminder to us that the lives each of us live should be seen as an example in the model of Jesus. In one way, it’s a very very high standard, as none of us can ever live a life as good or perfect as Jesus did. The good news is that we aren’t called to live perfectly. We are called to love as perfectly as we can, and to be that “light” for the world in all the small ways we can.
We followers of Jesus are always going to stand out. Our priorities are definitely not those of the world we live in. The authorities of the world tell us to take care of ourselves first, and leave everyone else to fend for themselves. Our priority is to have charity toward those who are less fortunate or on the margins. We are called to love and serve others. It’s a calling that we have every day.
I wanted to also talk for a moment about my favorite saint, whose memorial is today: St Anthony of Padua. He is a Doctor of the Church, because of his great knowledge and skill in preaching, but to me, he’s the saint that I call upon to help me to find things that have been lost. I know that he doesn’t actually find things for me, but he echoes my prayers to the Lord, so that the Lord will remind me of where the lost item is. He’s a very special example of how the saints are there to pray with and for us always.
Action for the Day:
Take time today to think of how you are a “city set on a hill”, and ask God to help you to live a life that shines forth His light. And, if anyone should ask you why you seem different, know that God will give you the words to share about how you live your life in faith today and everyday.
If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!