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Friday, February 4, 2011


5TH SUNDAY in Ordinary Time – A
On Australian Catholic Radio Online (Pls click):

          What would the world be without salt? What would have become of human civilization if fire was not discovered?  What would the world be without us?
          After listening last Sunday to the Beatitudes which set the true standard of our happiness, we Christians, being disciples of Jesus, are being reminded of our significance:  we are the salt of the earth, the light of the world.
          Seemingly insignificant, salt and fire are actually indispensable.  Salt is used as flavouring, antiseptic, preservative, medicine and catalyst.  As a simile, Christians are all of the above: we give ‘flavour’ to life; we preserve human values to protect them from decay; we are wounded healers; as catalyzers, we influence others’ lives.
          Light opens our vision, gives direction and warning, purifies, provides warmth and delights the senses.  In Jn 9:5 Jesus proclaims “I am the light of the world.”  It is a tremendous compliment that a Christian is called also to be the light of the world like Jesus.  As such we are called to enlighten others’ lives; we give guidance and protection; we fight against evil influence; we provide joy to other people.
          If we live as disciples of Jesus in the truest sense of the word, that’s who we are.  He did not say “you are the salt and light of your family, friends or church” but “the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”  It may seem true that our lives revolve around the people close to us like our families and friends but the ripples of our Christian witnessing go beyond the limited world that we know of.  Who am I and how am I related to the other billions of peoples in the world today?  We might not understand how, but a Christian can make a difference not just in the place where one lives but in the whole world as well.  The third simile in our gospel today is the city built on a hilltop.  Our Christian life is like that city, it cannot be hidden.  Like all the saints, our lives shine through in our goodness that manifests itself spontaneously. 
          What would be the life of my family without me?  What would my life be without my friends?  Sometimes I ask God why did he bring me to this place, to the lives of other people, to this point of history.  For sure, there is a reason why.  The answer to that question slowly unfolds as I live my life day after day.  I cannot be a guilty bystander watching other people in indifference.  In my nothingness, I give them my blessing when I watch them suffering and crying on TV; I bless an elderly or the sick when I enter a hospital; I bless a pregnant woman and her baby when I walk in the city; I offer the Eucharist to other parts of the world hit by a hurricane or in war.  Do I know these people?  No!  I don’t even know their names nor will I ever meet or see them again, but in the silence of my heart, I wish I have made a difference in their lives without them knowing it.
          At the end of the day, before going to bed, as we review the day that was entrusted to us, it is good to ask ourselves: What good did I do today?  What is my contribution to life today?  Did I make a difference today to at least one person in the world?  If not, I will pray to God that if he gives me another day tomorrow, I will not miss my chance again.

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