5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
There is a story of a salt man who set on a journey in wanting to understand who he was. After a long search at last he saw the beach. The sea shouted at him: “You will understand yourself only if you embrace me.” Following such familiar voice, the salt man hurried excitingly towards the beach and embraced the sea. Before he totally melted, he cried out “I am.”
The matchsticks were talking with each other in the darkness of the matchbox. They wanted to understand who they were and at the same time very eager to know the world outside the matchbox. Once in a while somebody would open up the box and would get one of them out. Until one day, one burnt stick was returned back to the box and announced to everyone the reality outside the box and what had happened to it. Because of that, the matchsticks became so eager to experience the same.
“You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world!” This was a proclamation of our identity and mission as disciples of Jesus.
Salt and light! Two seemingly insignificant things yet undoubtedly they play very important roles in the lives of peoples. When these two metaphors were accorded to us as disciples of Jesus, they became symbolic declaration of our place in the history of salvation. Each one of us, no matter how humble our status in life is, has a great significance with such profound influence in the world we live in. Often times we are unnoticed and yet our presence becomes a catalyst of change amongst those whom we come in contact with. As light we are challenged to shine and to even spark revolutions in overthrowing the status quo of darkness that threatens the very dignity of life. As salt, we are meant to share our lives in opposing the culture of death.
In order for salt and light to dispense their mission, they have to lose themselves in the process. When Jesus declared Himself as the light of the world, He knew that He had to give up his life in the process of sharing His light. The oil in a lamp had to give up itself as it transforms into a beautiful light; the wax in a candle had to melt in order to shine. The Christian life is a constant giving of self to others which is a faithful witnessing of how Jesus gave up His life to humanity. When the secular world teaches us to be takers and sometimes even as hoarders for the sake of our survival, Jesus urges us to be givers for the survival of others. While others concentrate in the pain of letting go of someone/something precious in one’s life, we embrace the joy of having shared a part of ourselves and extended our lives to others. We are not afraid to share because everything we have is just being shared to us from the providence of others and God.
The salt and the lamp are useless unless they melt and shine. And when our light is shining, it is not to glorify ourselves as if the world is indebted to us that it should give us back the accolade and praises. The ultimate honor belongs to God; we can only be grateful to Him for giving us our wax and oil to share and shine….