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Commentary to the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Fr. Fernando Armelini - Claret - Sat, Feb 4th 2017

How could one become salt and light?


“Today, there is no more faith. Once there was so much.” 

How do you measure faith? Referring to statistics, do you count how many are those who participate in Sunday Mass, receive the sacraments, marry in the church, send their children to catechism? Is it perhaps assessed by the imposing crowds involved in ecclesial gatherings? How does one know when it increases and decreases? Is it in solemn celebrations, attentive to the minute details and executed flawlessly, that Christians appear to be the salt of the earth and light of the world? 

A wonderful parable of Jesus (Mt 25:31-46) reveals how God’s way of evaluating is different from ours. Instead of paying attention to religious practices, loyalty to the traditions, the scrupulous observance of rites, God is interested in concrete adhesion to his plan of love for people. Those who share their bread with the hungry and water with the thirsty, who dress the naked and house the homeless, assist the sick and defend those who suffer injustice shine in the world as beautiful rays of God’s light. 

The criteria are clear and yet many continue to reduce their relationship with God to a scrupulous fulfillment of religious practices. One day, this could prove to be a tragic illusion. Only the life of the righteous, that of one who believes in the beatitudes proposed by Jesus, is “like the light of dawn: it grows in splendor until noon” (Prov 4:18). 

To internalize the message, we repeat: 

“He is light who breaks the bread with the hungry, welcomes the homeless in the house, dresses the naked, frees the oppressed.”

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