A HOMILY FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “A” – 2/9/14 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and Goodness to you this day!
What a Winter! We haven’t had a winter like this for several years. And it is still quite possible that this Winter will set records for snowfall and cold temperatures. Now, I like winter. A warm coat, a good hat, and a set of gloves, and winter is not only survivable, but it can actually be enjoyable! However, it is only the second week of February, and it is getting a little old. You know the worst part for me? The worst part for me is all the salt. Have you noticed how much salt everybody seems to be putting down today? It is constantly all over my shoes. It’s all over the floor and the carpet. It’s all over my car. Mike’s Car Wash has got to be loving this Winter. It’s all over the garage floor. It’s on my coat, on my suit, and on the pant legs of just about every pair of pants that I own. I gotta tell ya, that the snow, and the ice, and the cold temperatures don’t bother me near as much as the salt. Of course, one of the reasons why the snow, and ice, and cold temperatures DON’T bother me as much as they could, IS the salt. We’ll see what the road and walkways all look like AFTER the snow and ice go away.
So we’ve got salt all around us today, and we come to Mass, and what is Jesus talking about? Salt. He’s talking to us about salt. Jesus is asking us to be salt for the world. Now, Jesus isn’t just talking about the kind of salt that makes a difference on our roads and sidewalks in Winter, He is talking even more about how salt makes a difference in the way our foods taste. And He is reminding us, that just as salt changes the taste of some of our favorite foods, so too, are we as Catholic Christians, supposed to be changing our world for the better. It’s a great example. Have you ever thought about how many foods just don’t taste the same without salt? Have you ever had popcorn without any salt? It’s not the same. Or have you ever tasted the difference between pasta that was cooked in water with a little salt in it, and pasta that was cooked in just plain boiling water? There’s a big difference. Have you ever had one of those salt-free pretzels? Not the same. Definitely not the same! Salt makes a big difference. Salt not only makes a big difference on icy roads, but it also makes a difference in our foods. And that’s exactly what Jesus wants us to do for our world today!
You may have noticed, that our world today is in some pretty desperate need of good people, with good values, who are striving to make a difference in people’s lives. Just like salt, Jesus wants us to make that same kind of difference in the lives of others. We cannot keep the flavor of Christianity all to ourselves. We are given the very special mission of taking God’s love out to the world today. This is exactly what Pope Francis keeps talking about and is calling the Church to do much more. If the people that we work with, and go to school with, and live in the same neighborhood with, if they CAN’T tell that we are Catholic Christians by our actions, by our compassion, and by our willingness to get our hands dirty to make the world a better place, then we’re NOT doing our jobs. Then we’re like salt that’s lost its flavor. And what’s that salt good for? Apparently not much more than putting down on the road to melt the ice!
The other image that Jesus uses today is that we are to be light. Maybe because of our current over-abundance of salt, that is the image that we need to focus on. Light illumines. Light shows the way. Light provides security and protection. We are to let our light shine for the whole world to see, and God will use us to bring others to His love and grace. Do we reflect God’s light in our daily lives? Can others see Christ inside of us?
You see, whether we are talking salt or light, if we’re not living out our Faith, if we are only going through the motions, if we are only Catholic Christian in name only, then we’re just simply not doing it right. And God can’t use us to make a difference in our world today. My brothers and sisters, we’ve got to live out our Faith. Anybody can say nice words. Anybody can go through the motions. Jesus needs us living the Christian life 24/7. May He bless our every effort. May He help us to make a difference today!
+ God bless us this day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!