FIFTH SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A.
9th February 2020
Isaiah 58:7-10; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16.
Through the metaphors of salt and light, Jesus Christ states the nature of our collective mission as a church and our individual mission as Christians. Being the salt and light to others will always bring us out to the spot light. What this means is that the Christian life is never a hidden one. This is what he meant when he said that; A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. The Christian life is not for those afraid of the spot light.
The spot light in question is not that of social recognition but a test of authenticity and integrity. The world will demand from us the motivation behind our actions as Christians. To shelter the homeless, to feed the hungry, and clothing the naked is not the issue at stake. These charitable works are for the most part politicized by our contemporary society. What is at stake is the background to charity as mentioned in the first reading; If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist, the wicked word, if you give your bread to the hungry, and relief to the oppressed, your light will rise in the darkness, and your shadows become like noon. Our integrity as the light and the salt of the earth lies in the renunciation of violence. The renunciation of violence is the internal motivation to charity. The unfortunate human conditions that we hope to alleviate through charity were caused by human violence.
St. Paul advises us to be simple in our approach to life. He used himself as an example for us. According to him; the sermons that I gave, there were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy; only a demonstration of the power of the Spirit. Renunciation of the will to violence requires a great deal of simplicity. We need to learn how to accept things as they are. The simplicity of self-acceptance is the secret to renunciation of violence. The root of human violence is the lack of self-acceptance. Integrity and authenticity are the fruits of self-acceptance.
Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.