Homily 2017-02-05

The Gospel by MT 5:13-16
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You are the salt of the earth! How great is that? Do you understand its meaning? Jesus is praising you, he is aware of your potential and of your presence in the world, for him you are Majestic. He even compares you with a mountain. He says you cannot hide; your light is so great that you cannot hide it under a table or in a basket. Because you are a follower of Christ your light shines effortlessly. You are an example for future generations. People come to you for advice, because they know, deep down within themselves, that you have an unusual wisdom: the wisdom of God.

If by any chance you are not feeling that great or you have forgotten who you are, it is time for you to remember. It is time for you to listen to the words of today’s gospel. They are not said by anybody, they are said by Christ. In another passage he said that we are sons and daughters of God, the most high. So when you are down, sad or in trouble, don’t forget those words.

I know people dying with a horrible illness and yet in their face they reflect the love of God. They experienced something that many people have not understood yet, meaning the love of God. That love may not take away the illness in some of them, but they have been able to navigate through their sickness with courage, strength and love. Isn’t that amazing?

Being the salt of the earth also means responsibility. Don’t let your emotions, your anger and your needs affect in a negative way the faith of others, especially your loved ones. I have noticed that many people keep a strong front in public, but with their families they forget who they are. I remember a priest who during lent was very diligent in promoting fasting, but then at home ate like a pig and forgot to abstain from meat. When I challenged him, he responded that he had to be himself with his family. That was sad, it meant that his front was just that, a front, but it was not real. When people are not watching, you still need to be a good Christian (especially so). You have to be the salt of the earth, even when no one notices. Ultimately, it is about you, it is about your relationship with God.  

To me, the gospel of today is refreshing. It reminds me of why I chose to be a priest. That does not mean that I am perfect, or that I do not make mistakes. What it means is that we are to take the gospel and make the most of it, use it in everyday life and absorb as much as I can. It means planning my days based on his principles. And by doing so, I am the salt of the earth. I become light to those in darkness. And you too are salt of the earth; you too are bringing light to others. Chances are that you know that, chances are that you are the stabilizing factor in your home and at work.

I pray that you discover the word of God in your life and that you continue to be the salt of the earth. Do not let ordinary things destroy your faith and confidence in God. Do not let your salt lose its taste. Be a light and be at peace!  

Fr. Marc Angelo, PO Box 3414, Culver City, CA 90231
http://archangelschurch.org/

Mass every Sunday at 6:00pm at St. Mary’s in Palms 3647 Watseka Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034-3914

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