February 05, 5th Week in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 58:7-10, Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 & Matthew 5:13-16
Today the Lord teaches us our great role here on earth to be its light and salt. The Scriptures constantly remind us how we can become effective in our mission by sharing the special predilection of God for the poor, orphan, and widow.
The prophet Isaiah affirms that access to the presence of God is possible only when we practice works of mercy. That is, we access God by sharing our bread with the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and the poor both material and spiritual, covering those whom we see naked, caring for our families in need, and getting away from all kinds of oppression, threats, and defamation.
God is decisively on the side of the weak and vulnerable, needing help and support. By our presence, we should be a light that will break the dawn. Only then, we can reach God and at the same time, be agents of light amidst our world.
Paul writing to the Corinthians focused his preaching on the mystery of Christ crucified, saying, I announced to you the mystery of Christ Crucified. It gave no place to triumphalism or eloquence. Thus, he records that the effectiveness of the message he transmitted to them did not lie in human wisdom but in the power of the Spirit of God. In this precise way, the fruits of Christian preaching are the result of the intervention of the Spirit of God that makes it possible for the message of the Gospel to be received in the heart of the person.
Today’s Gospel continues to illustrate using the metaphors of salt and light, “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” Jesus assigns to his disciples the task of making their whole lives a clear testimony of righteousness amidst the world. In the Jewish tradition, a just person is characterized by the works of justice and charity that he performs. In the same way, the disciples of Jesus are salt and light for the world if they do good works. But it is a question of bearing witness with good examples through one's whole life and not only with isolated actions.
It was not the preaching that attracted people to the first Christian community, but their affective and effective charity within the first Christian communities. This is today's pastoral challenge. That is why we must bear in mind that it must be our good works that help other people to discover God and praise him as their creator and savior.
Indeed, it is a great challenge for us to be good. Our Lord continues to choose the weakest in the world as his own testimony, because only in this way is he manifested as the one who carries out the work of salvation. God calls us and chooses us to communicate the Gospel because he loves us. And it will be he who inspires us with the appropriate words and deeds for each moment and each human circumstance.
Christians today are called to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus through good works. But how can we be a witness to the world when, as Saint Paul said, we realize that we still do the evil that we do not want to do and fail to do the good works that we ought to do?
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.