Sunday, February 05, 2017
(Isaiah 58:7-10 / 1 Cor 2:1-5 / Matthew 5:13-16)
The Language of God: Light of the world and Salt of the earth.
There was a mother mouse who decided to teach her children about the world. So she gathered all of her little mice and set out for a walk. They walked down the hall and turned to the right. Then they went down the hall and took another right. And suddenly they found themselves in front of the family cat dozing in the sunlight. The mother mouse was scared. But she didn’t want to give in to her fright. So she signaled to the children to be very quiet and to follow as she began to tip toe quietly and slowly past the sleeping cat. Just as she was about to get past the cat, the cat’s eyes popped open and raised its paw.
The little mice were petrified. What would their mother do? Well, just as the cat’s paw started to come down, that mother mouse looked the cat right in the eye and started barking like a dog. And do you know what? The cat was so startled and frightened that it jumped up and ran away! The mother mouse, wiped her brow, shook a little and then turned to her little mice and said, “Children, I hope you learned a valuable lesson. Sometimes it’s good to know a second language!”
It’s the same way with us. It’s good to know a second language. Salt and light are the language of God; the language of Grace; the language of hope and love. And when this language is translated into action it becomes the most beautiful language ever spoken. We’re called to be salt and light and to speak the language of God as we live our faith. We’re called to live the Word.
It is just the other day, on Thursday to be precise, that we accompanied Mother Mary to present baby Jesus to the temple. Jesus is the light and us we carried lighted candles to signify this light. The same thing happens at our baptism. We are given light from the Easter candle which symbolises Jesus.
In the gospel, Jesus tells us that He wants us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
Actually, we are like the moon. Moon has no light of its own but receives the light from the sun. We too need only to illuminate. We have no light of our own but we receive the light from Jesus.
The moon will lose its splendor if it acts contrary to its nature. The christians will also lose their splendor when they act contrary to their nature. They have to be in the open and illuminate to the whole world so that people may not walk in darkness.
How do we illuminate? First of all is by imitating Christ amd living our Christian’s values openly. Thus apart from our own human language of weakness, we have to know the second language, that is, the language of God which is strength. With it we will frighten the darkness, the Satan, away.
The salt that we are called to be means that we are to give a taste of God’s presence in our conversations with others. If we don’t do so, we lose our importance and need to be thrown out. But we also need to be moderate not fundamentalist. Too much salt would turn people off as it would become overdosed with religion and we are seen to be overly zealous or fundamentalists.
There are people who act God instead of letting God act. We hear people killing that they are helping God to eliminate “Kafir”. Others are taking even lives of the innocent unborn babies as if they have the power to create. This actually has turned many people away from God especially when it is coming from a religiously dominated nations and not pagans.
In many if their and even our conversations, God is missing and it becomes like tasteless food. And it is here that Jesus is prompting us to be that “pinch of salt” that would leave in others a taste of God.
Especially when our conversations digress into complaining and gossiping. That is when we have to be the salt that would purify and preserve the decency of the topics of our conversation.
If we, as the salt of the earth, give others a taste of God, then as the light of the world, we are called to be light-signs that show others the way to God and the ways of God.
It is often said that God works in mysterious ways and we ourselves must be able to see it before we can tell others how to look for it.
There is a story of a pretty and well-dressed lady who went to see a lawyer to file for divorce.
Her husband used to be a successful businessman, and he was able to support her expensive and lavish life-style.
But when his business failed, his wife couldn’t take it and decided to file for divorce and leave him.
When the lawyer heard her story, he told her that he would like someone to speak to her, and he called in a middle-aged office cleaner.
The lawyer asked the cleaner to tell the lady how she found meaning and direction in her life.
The cleaner’s story went like this – My husband died of cancer in his late 30s, and then barely half a year later, my only son was killed in a road accident.
I had nobody left and nothing to live for. I was in grief and in shock and in a daze. I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t eat.
I couldn’t smile. I was angry with God and resented those people who seemed so happy in life. I even thought of ending my life.
One day when I came back from work, there was a scrawny kitten at the corridor, meowing away, and it followed me to the door.
I felt sorry for the kitten, and I decided to let it in and I gave it some milk. It purred and rubbed against my leg.
For the first time in months, I smiled. Then I stopped to think. If helping and feeding a little kitten can make me smile, then maybe helping somebody in need can make me happy.
So the next day, I cooked some food and brought it to a neighbour who was elderly and sick, and it made her happy.
So every day, I would try to do something nice for someone else and it made me happy to see them happy.
I realized that a person cannot be happy unless he is thinking of how much he can help others, instead of thinking about how much he can get from others.
Now I eat well, and I sleep well, and I am happy.
And then the cleaner said to the lady: I hope that you can be happy too, by helping others to be happy.
Whether the lady went on to file for divorce or not, the story left it to us to think about it.
But the point of the story is that the poor cleaner found the second language of happiness by helping others to be happy.
In doing that, she also found her purpose and meaning in life. She found language of God in her life, and she is helping others to do so.
We are Christians. A Christian is a person in whose life Christ lives again.
Just as salt gives taste and light gives sight, let us give others a taste of God’s presence and to help them see the mysterious ways of God.
It saddens when other people out there makes other people to suffer. But we can see God using irrational animals to give happiness to those suffering. Let’s us pray that through the intercessions of St. Agatha of Catania, we may bring happiness to the many women suffering of breast cancer or other fire related ailments that they may find healing.
Sts.Theresa of Lisieux and Agatha, pray for us.