Eucharistic Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Epiphany: Year A
Isaiah 58:1-9a, [9b-12]; Psalm 112:1-9, (10); 1 Corinthians 2:1-12, [13-16]; Matthew 5:13-20
“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Matthew 5:13)
This salt of the earth is a good metaphor for our call to be peacemakers and thus, Children of God. Then Matthew goes on to say; “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14 – 16)
Being a true Southerner, I love grits. But I don’t want anyone who doesn’t like grits to cook them for me. You have to know the value of salt. Without salt, grits for me, aren’t fit to eat. Salt is a seasoning that makes many foods palatable.
The “you” that Jesus uses in the Matthew verses above is the plural form. This grit-eating Southerner would say “Y’all.” The “y’all” that our Lord Jesus uses applies to the Church. That means our Christian Church. So when our Lord Jesus says that you are the salt of the earth, and the light of the world, he is telling us the we, the Church, are the salt and light of the world.
Salt is that property of the Church that seasons the people of the earth. It brings forth peace and harmony. It blends us together. It does not make us one, it’s not suppose to. And that’s where light comes in.
With light we can see and appreciate the differences between us. We are like a bowl of vegetable soup. We, the people of the earth, are seasoned with the salt of the church and brought into harmonious relationship with one another. However, with the light of the Church we can still see the different textures of one another. It is like looking at green beans, and corn, and carrots and a few potatoes and some spinach leaves all brought to a piping hot dish and seasoned to perfection with a little salt to make it a very delicious meal.
The people of the world need to live in harmony with each other, and at the same time, recognize and honor the distinctive differences we bring to the bowl. Some have used the salad metaphor; fine. Whatever works. We just need to respect each other’s humanity and spiritual presence.
Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John