Homily Fifth Sunday Year A Disciple: light and salt

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Homily Fifth Sunday Year A

Reading 1: What is this light which shall break forth like the dawn and the wound be quickly healed? The chosen people have just returned from exile. They are being called back to covenant living. This involves feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, not rejecting the needy, removing oppression, false accusations and malicious speech. In other words, they are called by the prophet to turn away from sin and to do what is good and loving in the eyes of God.

But what is this light that will dispel the darkness in their hearts? It is the presence of God who reminds them “Here I am!” when they do that which is right and just. The light is their relationship to God, which when they are faithful to the covenant will be manifested through their relationship with one another. That light also will be experienced through the providential care and protection of God.

The darkness is the result of personal and communal sin. The light is the result of turning away from sin and living according to the commands of the Lord, especially in our relationship to one another.

Gospel: As disciples of Jesus we are called to make a difference in the world around us by transforming the blandness of life without God with the seasoning of our witness, the witness of love, faith and hope. As salt adds a special flavor to food, so we are called to share our faith with others.

Following up on the first reading, we are also called to be alight in the world of darkness that surrounds us by our deeds of love and service. These deeds done for the right motive will give glory to God.

To be a follower of Christ is not always easy. We can become discouraged and tired. We can try to measure our value by success and effectiveness. We can become tasteless like the old salt. We can allow our light to become dim and even go out by not being whom God calls us to be.

It is the power of the Holy Spirit that enables my weak light to become brighter and my dash of salt to enable my wavering witness to be effective. We need to pray daily for the Holy Spirit to use us as a disciple/witness for the glory of God.

There is a deepening, invading darkness of sin and error in the world. My life must be a light dispelling the darkness, making a difference, even though I do not perceive it.  Otherwise, the influence of the darkness will seek to extinguish the light.

Reading 2: Having come to Corinth from Athens, Paul changed his pastoral tactic. He realized that the power of the Gospel was not in his human wisdom and logic, but in revealing the truth of the central mystery which transforms lives: the death and resurrection of Jesus.  It is faith in God’s power through this saving act that delivers and renews us.

Paul believed this with his whole heart, but he needed the failure of his experience in Athens to remind him. This was the light which went off within him. This was the message which would bring life to others. He allowed the power of the Holy Spirit to take his simple message and to touch people’s lives. In this way Paul was a light to the Gentiles.

Paul did not preach a prosperity gospel but Jesus Christ crucified and risen. He wasn’t an impressive preacher. He had some speech impediment. But the message that he proclaimed was anointed by the Holy Spirit, who convicted his hearers to the core.

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