Thursday, February 2, 2017
by Sister Ann Rehrauer
During Ordinary Time, the First Reading and the Gospel for Sundays are chosen because they carry a similar theme. This week, the Scripture readings call us to live our faith through acts of mercy.
Isaiah exhorts us to carry out the corporal works of mercy: share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless, clothe the naked, and do not turn your back on your own.
In the Gospel account, Jesus uses images of salt and light to describe those same types of action we are called to carry out in his name. The primary purpose of these actions is to benefit others. The secondary result, however, is that the Kingdom grows, goodness increases, and God is glorified.
A light on a mountain top cannot be hidden, and fresh salt flavors all that it touches. So, too, a Christian who assists a friend or a stranger, shines forth and brightens the life of all he/she meets. When we see these positive actions in others (and when others see them in us), it reminds everyone of how Jesus cared for and brought hope to the people of his time.
This week may we find (at least) two opportunities to be salt and light – to flavor our part of the world with mercy and goodness, so that others "may see our good deeds and glorify God” who uses us to care for the people of our time. Find your own way: monetary contributions, volunteering at shelters or food pantries, visits or phone calls to elderly folks, assistance with shopping or shoveling, and prayer for those in need. In all these ways, people will find hope and God will be glorified.
Rooted in the Cross, Word, and Eucharist ... compassionately responding through prayer, presence, and hospitality.
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