St. Paul wrote in the Second Reading, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Through his incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection, the light that Jesus speaks of in this week’s Gospel is revealed to us. In the Gospel the Lord identifies us as “the light of the world.” He goes on to say that no one with such a light would ever cover it up, but rather the light would brighten the whole world. Sometimes we think of this light as being the particular gifts a person may possess, for example, a person may be a good speaker, a brilliant student, a graceful athlete, a beautiful singer, an efficient worker, and so we think that it’s about letting these parts of a person to stand out and be used or to shine. While it is true that we are to use the gifts that God has given to us, I think the Lord is speaking about something more primary, something much more foundational. To be the light of the world, to retain our “saltiness” is to live according to God’s creation of the human person. And our creation is that we are God’s children. As God’s children we are given a definite dignity, a dignity that cannot be lost or taken. When St. Paul proclaims nothing but Jesus Christ and his crucifixion, he is proclaiming the love of the Father for his daughters and sons. And so, when a Christian lives with this knowledge in one’s heart, one lives a life consistently shining forth God’s light and love to the world.
Pope Francis has described evangelization, the proclamation of the Good News, as being a work that resembles attraction. Our work in spreading the Good News is not about arguing or convincing others of some reasonable logic, but of shining forth the beauty of our faith in Christ Jesus; that every word we speak or action that we do emerges from our heart knowledge of being God’s children. If we were not God’s children the sacrifice of the cross would make no sense. When we know this in our minds and hearts we sort of “cross a line of no return.” The person cannot live as they once lived, but now must live according to God’s law of love written on their hearts. A child of God lives as Isaiah describes in the First Reading: “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless into your house; [and] when you see the naked, to cover them?” This Sunday we are again given a beautiful gift—to be who God has made us to be, that is, to be God’s beloved children. And in this all our good works will give glory to our Father in heaven.
God Bless & Take Care!