HOMILY FOR 5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A
HOMILY THEME: EXEMPLARY CHRISTIAN LIFE
BY: Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
HOMILY: Today’s first reading is taken from Isaiah 58:7-10, in which the work of justice, light shall break through darkness. We are to do justice, to treat or show (something or someone) in a way that is as good as it should be done to you.
This is what prophet Isiah is preaching: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption!
Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow”.
The second reading is from St. Paul 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, in which Paul shows that he came to Corinth preaching Christ crucified. Paul addresses those who claimed to belong to Apollos, those who claimed Cephas, others who claimed Paul, and even those who followed only Christ.
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)
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At that time he reminded them all that the Church is the body of Christ and as such cannot be divided. If anyone can boast, they can boast only in that they have been chosen by God.
The Gospel is from St. Matthew 5:13-16, in which Jesus teaches that his disciples are to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. To ‘be salt’ means to deliberately seek to influence the people in one’s life by showing them the unconditional love of Christ through good deeds.
Jesus wants us to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world”. Being salt and light is not optional. Jesus did not say you can be…or you have the potential to be…He said you are.
When Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth”, He meant that all of His disciples were to serve as preservatives, stopping the moral decay in our sin infected world.
The second half of Matthew 5:13 states: “But if salt loses its taste, how would its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men”.
Jesus did not say that we can lose our salvation; He said that we can lose our saltiness. When salt is contaminated it becomes corrosive and poisonous. Contaminated salt cannot even be used for fertilizer on the field, so it has to be thrown on the road.
As “light” we are to illuminate or make visible. Our lives are to be an on-going witness to the reality of Christ’s presence in our lives. When we worship God with pure hearts, when we love others as ourselves, and when we do good without growing weary, we are lights shining.
Either we are “salt” and “light” by the grace of God, or we are willfully disobeying the one who saved us for such a time as this. If we are being “salt” and “light” then we can expect fruit from our faithfulness.
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