Tuesday 07 June 2022 –  ARE YOU SALT AND LIHT?

10th Week in Ordinary Time         

1st Reading: 1Kngs 17:7-16

The brook near where Elijah was hiding ran dry, because no rain had fallen in the land. So, the LORD said to Elijah: “Move on to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have designated a widow there to provide for you.” He left and went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance of the city, a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her, “Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink.” She left to get it, and he called out after her, “Please bring along a bit of bread.” She answered, “As the LORD, your God, lives, I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar and a little oil in my jug. Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks, to go in and prepare something for myself and my son; when we have eaten it, we shall die.” Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid.  Go and do as you propose. But first make me a little cake and bring it to me. Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son. For the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘The jar of flour shall not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.’” She left and did as Elijah had said. She was able to eat for a year, and Elijah and her son as well; the jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the LORD had foretold through Elijah.

Gospel: Mt 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.”

YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH. LIGHT OF THE WORLD: ‘Salt’ could have different meanings. In the Hebrew Scriptures, salt is associated with covenant (Lev 2:3; Num 18:19; 2Chro 13:5). We are the signs of the covenant of God.  Salt also is hidden in food, only perceived in taste. In line with some of the parables of the Kingdom (Mt 13:31,33), is Jesus telling us that sometimes our virtuous life could lie hidden because it is based on the covenant with God, just as the sign of the covenant lies hidden in the circumcised man, perceived only by him? In contrast to salt, light is visible; it facilitates visibility for others. While Christian life is based on a hidden relationship with God in Jesus, it needs to be also explicitly visible before the world, so that, the relationship becomes a sign of hope for the world.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the privilege that you give me being salt of the earth and light of the world.

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BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN: The first reading presents a melancholic scenario of famine. The brook, the only source of water dries; Elijah, the widow of Zarephath and her son are at the threshold of starvation. Today, 663 million people lack safe drinking water and 795 million people cannot access sufficient food. In such an environment, the gospel calls us to be salt and light to the world. To be salt and light imply engaging in the works of love. The first example is set by the Widow of Zarephath who in faith is ready to share the little that she has; we are invited to do likewise. The second example is that of Elijah. He is a great, strong, and tough prophet but requests with humility.  We too have to work with humility as we request others to share with the needy. The world has enough resources for each one but the distribution is very skewed. We are called to advocate for distributive justice. May we also work towards preserving nature in whatever way. Such is the faith that we are called to observe.