Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 5:13-16

Tuesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew 5:13-16

Today Jesus coins a phrase that we continue to use today. He tells his disciples: “You are the ‘salt of the earth.’”  Take a moment and ask yourself: What does this phrase mean to me?  What is my understanding of the phrase “the salt of the earth?”  What characteristics do you think a person who is “the salt of the earth” would possess?  Down to earth? Practical? Sensible? Caring? Most likely all of us are “salt of the earth” in a variety of ways. However, Jesus then adds that if we lose our saltiness, we also will lose our flavor and then we will not be good for anything!

Jesus also tells his disciples: “You are the light of the world.”  This is a powerful, and yet perhaps an intimidating, statement.  Light is essential in so many ways.  Plants will not grow without light. Light enables us to see clearly. If we do not have light, we may stumble and struggle through life.  If we take Jesus’ words seriously, we need to share our “light” with everyone we encounter.

As yourself: Do you consider yourself “the light of the world?” If you answer yes, how do you strive to share your light?  What are the gifts of light you share with others: a smile, a kind act, noticing someone who needs some help or encouragement, reaching out to someone who is lonely, sitting with a friend who is ill, or simply sharing a flower or fresh tomato from your garden? These are small acts but they are filled with light!

Now, let’s shift the focus. What are the arenas of your life where your light may be dim or perhaps extinguished? What is the cause of the loss of light? Do you sense any glimmer of light beginning to shine in this arena of your life? How do you experience God in this situation?

Our light is not our creation. God chose to make us creatures of light. Our light is not our light, rather it is a share of God’s light. Our light is meant to be shared, not hoarded. Our light has been given to us to share with our family, friends, the strangers we meet, and our world.

Today may you consciously and generously let your light shine! Our world is in desperate need of light. There is a tremendous amount of darkness, pain, tragedy, loneliness, and sadness in our world. Today and every day, the world needs your light and my light. Together we can fill the world with God’s light and love!

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