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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (2Cor 1:18-22): Brothers and sisters: As God is faithful, our word to you is not “yes” and “no”. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me, was not “yes” and “no”, but “yes” has been in him. For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him; therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory. But the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God; he has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.
Responsorial Psalm: 118
R/. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Wonderful are your decrees; therefore I observe them.

The revelation of your words sheds light, gives understanding to the simple.

I gasp with open mouth in my yearning for your commands.

Turn to me in pity as you turn to those who love your name.

Steady my footsteps according to your promise, and let no iniquity rule over me.

Let your countenance shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.
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 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. You are the light of the world”

Fr. Francesc PERARNAU i Cañellas (Girona, Spain)

Today, St. Matthew 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.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “Do not think that you are drawn on to ordinary conflicts, or that for some small matters you are to give account. ‘You are the salt of the earth.’” (Saint John Chrysostom)

  • “Here and now, the Lord’s disciples are called to live as a community which is the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of community!” (Francis)

  • “The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history (…). Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world. This people is ‘a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race.’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 782)