Homily for 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A, Salt and Light

posted Feb 6, 2017, 11:40 AM by Church Office   [ updated Feb 6, 2017, 11:40 AM by Michelle Massung ]


            My favorite meal is breakfast.  I just love some crisp bacon, rich dark black coffee, a warm iced cinnamon roll and some fresh eggs, over medium, cooked in the bacon grease.  And to make this great meal taste even better, I add a touch of pepper and of course, some salt.  Without that salt, those eggs would taste so bland.  Salt spices up this meal and takes what is good and makes it even better. During the time of Jesus, salt was a very valuable commodity and was traded like gold and silver.  It was needed to preserve food, especially meat since there were no refrigerators or freezers back then.  It was also mixed with manure to create a fuel to burn.  The salt would help ignite the mixture.  

            Jesus knew the value of salt and that is why he called the disciples the salt of the earth.  He wanted to take what god had created and to make it better.  Once God created the world, he turned it over to the care of mankind.  Adam and Eve did not take care of it very well and Jesus wants to change that around.  Jesus wants us and his disciples to use our God-given gifts for the benefit of mankind and for the glory of God.  We can do this simply by bring joy to people by offering them a smile and a compliment rather than being critical or judgmental.  Maybe someone you know needs some hope in their lives and you can pray for them and offer them some encouragement.  The point is, Christ calls us to be the salt of the earth by treating others better than they expect to be treated. 

            However, salt can also be destructive.  If it is put on the ground, it is almost impossible to grow anything in the soil.  We are called to stamp out sin and corruption in the world as well.  Those that took part in the recent walk for life certainly were trying to destroy anything that threatens our lives here on earth.  This is what I mean by being a destructive force and not someone that is destructive by their own sinful ways. 

            During the time of Jesus, light was hard to come by.  Most people got up at the first sign of daylight and went to bed shortly after dark.  To give light to a room, they would light a crude oil lamp and set it on a bushel basket in the center of he room so that it gave off as much light as possible.  When they wanted to put the light out, the put the bushel basket over the lamp so that the smoke and fumes from the oil lamp would not spread throughout the house. 

            Christ also tells us that we need to be the light of the world. Now some of you may say that you don’t feel very illuminated during these dark days of winter.  Yet, in last weeks Gospel, Jesus tells us that we have to have an attitude of being Blessed and therefore, be in a better mood to be happy that we are blessed by God.  Once we realize that we have been blessed by God, we are to extend that blessing to others in how we treat them.  This is similar to how we are to be the salt of the earth as well.  Ever notice how someone that always smiles can brighten up a room so quickly? Or how a kind word can bring a smile to someone else’s face? It does not take much for you to make someone else happy.  God makes us happy when we know we are blessed and we are called to pass those blessings on to others.

            This week, be the salt in your own little world and spice things up for those around you and make an effort to be the light for others to lead them to Christ in your generosity and kindness.