Sunday, February 06, 2011

Readings for 6 Feb 2011

Reading 1
Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst
oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

Responsorial Psalm
R. (4a) The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
R. Alleluia.

Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.

His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
His justice shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.

Reading 2
When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of Spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Today, Fr. Vincent talked about the term, "salt of the earth" and how much more significant it was when this passage was written rather than now. Although with the popularity of sea salt on the rise, this is changing somewhat. Think about how much one might pay for Mediterranean sea salt in the grocery store, and then think about how much more difficult it would be in Christ's time to obtain exotic flavors (even good Mediterranean sea salt would have been a substantial luxury). The best salt was used as currency frequently. Therefore, you are the salt of the earth is a complex and beautiful idea. We are all different flavors, yet all of the same clay. We are incredibly valuable to God. We enhance the earth. Or, like table salt, we lose our flavor, become bland and devalue ourselves.

I absolutely love that mass always has a central theme. Today's mass could be summed up with the old cliche, "Let your light shine." In other words, be bold, use your talents to His glory, and proclaim God's goodness with all you have. And yes, I have come to believe (after struggling with this issue quite a bit) that your words must be a part of this. When you are blessed, do you recognize God's hand in your life? Do you make an effort to sow goodness in your life?

I struggle with this in many ways. I struggle to praise Him when I know it will not be embraced wholeheartedly. I struggle to actively make Him a part of all of my life. I struggle to use the talents I am given to Glorify Him.

Lord, help me to humble myself to Your Will. Cultivate in me a heart which rejects the worldliness and lies of the Enemy, and help me to foster and embrace a love of Your Divine Plan. When I falter, God, pick me up and remind me of Your Saving Grace. Help me to be the salt of the Earth, and to Glorify you in word, thought, and deed. I make this prayer in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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