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Liturgical day: Tuesday 10th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Kgs 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.
Responsorial Psalm: 4
R/. Lord, let your face shine on us.
When I call, answer me, O my just God, you who relieve me when I am in distress; have pity on me, and hear my prayer! Men of rank, how long will you be dull of heart? Why do you love what is vain and seek after falsehood?

Know that the Lord does wonders for his faithful one; the Lord will hear me when I call upon him. Tremble, and sin not; reflect, upon your beds, in silence.

O Lord, let the light of your countenance shine upon us! You put gladness into my heart, more than when grain and wine abound.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 5:16): Alleluia. Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 5,13-16): Jesus said to his disciples, «You are the salt of the earth. But if salt has lost its strength, how can it be made salty again? It has become useless. It can only be thrown away and people will trample on it. You are the light of the world. A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and covers it; instead it is put on a lamp-stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven».

«You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world»

Fr. Francesc PERARNAU i Cañellas
(Girona, Spain)

Today, St. Mathew reminds us of those words Jesus said regarding our mission as Christians: to be the salt and the light of the world. On the one hand, the salt is a necessary seasoning to make foods taste good: without salt, most dishes are almost worthless! Throughout centuries, on the other hand, salt has been a fundamental element to keep victuals from corruption. Jesus tells us: —You must be the salt of your world, and like the salt, you are to be tasty and avoid corruption.

In our time, many have lost the sense of life and claim it is not worth their while; that life is full of disappointments, difficulties and suffering; that it goes by very fast and that it has death, as a final perspective, and a sad one too.

«You are the salt of the earth!» (Mt 5,13). It is up to Christians to give flavor to life: by showing the joyful and serene optimism of he who recognizes himself as the son of God, for everything in our lives can be a path to sanctity; by making difficulties, suffering and pain help us to purify ourselves; and by realizing that, at the end of our lives, life in Glory —the eternal happiness— is waiting for us.

And, also as the salt does, Christ's disciples, must preserve from corruption: where there are Christians with living faith, there cannot be injustice, violence, ill-treatment of the weak ones... Rather on the contrary, the virtue of Charity must shine in full force: worrying for others, solidarity, generosity...

And, thus, Christians are the light of the world (cf. Mt 5:14). A Christian is the torch that, with the example of his life, shows the path to Salvation, by bringing the light of truth everywhere in the world... Where, before, there was only darkness, uncertainty and doubts, now, there is light, certainty and self-confidence.