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Reflection for February 2023 (Liturgical Year – Cycle A, Year I)

Community Word: Disciples of Christ are called to be the salt and the light of the earth.
Order: “….your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Mt 5:16)
From the Sunday readings of February, our Community Word reminds us that as Christian followers, we must be a good witness to Christ for others, by living in a manner where people can see God’s goodness in us. We bring Christ to the world by the Spirit and power of God whom we worship and glorify. We are called to encourage our brothers and sisters to join the community to experience the faith and good deeds of its members, as seen in their deep spirituality in worship, in the pastoral care and shepherding of members, in its evangelization and mission works.
Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, in the same way, we as Christ’s followers reflect the glory of the Lord and speak forth His message of life. When we live our lives in close relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, those around us will see Him shining through us. We are to be the guiding light or lighthouse that shows forth the way to the safe harbor of Christ. Good works will be seen by those who live in darkness and the true reflection of the Light of the world in us will draw all people to Christ. Jesus tells us “…your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father,” (Mt 5:16). Thus, as Disciples of Christ, we are to be the salt of the earth and light of the world. Our salt and light will make others thirsty for the truth of God and will draw them to Jesus, the Light of the world.
How shall we further our mission to be Christ’s salt and light of the earth?
For the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time the theme is – We are the salt and the light of the earth when we do acts of mercy with love. The little things we do to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, console those who mourn and other acts of charity, can have meaningful consequences in the lives of people we touch. No matter how small our contribution may be, we can be the salt and light if we allow Jesus to give flavor to our lives and let His light shine in, and through us, so we can be like “a city set on a mountain” that is not hidden. He promises, “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I Am!” (Is 58:9).
The theme for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – We are the salt and the light of the earth when we obey and teach God’s commandments and walk in His ways. There is nothing that would delight God more than our obedience to every command and precepts He gives. We believe that God’s law is perfect and keeping it in our heart will surely honor and glorify Him. Those who walk in the law of the Lord, whose ways are blameless are rendered blessed in God’s eyes. We are promised in Sir 15:15, “…keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live.”
For the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time the theme is – We are the salt and the light of the earth when we show unconditional love and kindness to everyone. Psalm 103:8 tells us that the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. So, in the gospel, Jesus teaches us to imitate who our heavenly Father is, to walk in the path of perfection, as the Father is perfect. He tells us not to limit our kindness only to our friends, but even to people we do not like, and most especially to those who have hurt us, our enemies. He invites us to go the extra mile, and not just be mediocre in helping those who need help, or put a limit in our capacity to help. For the mercy of the Lord is all encompassing, as expressed in this promise, “He redeems your life…crowns you with kindness and compassion.” (Ps 103:4).
And finally, for the 1st Sunday of Lent the theme is – We are the salt and the light of the earth when we overcome all occasions of sin by praying, fasting and standing on God’s word. The season of Lent gives us the opportunity to be righteous before God. Because our sinfulness detaches us from the Lord, we can purify our souls through prayers, fasting and meditating on God’s word, just as Jesus did before starting his ministry. When we pray Psalm 51, we beg for God’s mercy, to cleanse our hearts so that our relationship with the Lord will be restored. The joy of our salvation will be ours again because we have been saved by Jesus Christ. In Romans 5:19b, it says, “…through the obedience of the One, the many will be made righteous.” (Rom 5:19b)
Most gracious Lord, my heavenly Father. Thank you for loving me through Jesus Christ and for giving me power through your Holy Spirit. I acknowledge that everything comes from you and therefore, I should not be anxious about anything, but to fully trust in Your wisdom. Lead me to seek You alone with all my heart and follow all Your precepts, to love all without limit and to be a true witness of Your love by being salt and light to others. You are holy and perfect, and I give You back all the honor, glory and praise due your Holy Name. Amen!
Sunday Readings:
February 5 Is 58:7-10/ Ps 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9/ 1 Cor 2:1-5/ Mt 5:13-16
February 12 Sir 15:15-20/ Ps 119:1, 2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34/ 1 Cor 2:6-10/ Mt 5:17-37
February 19 Lv 19:1-2, 17-18/ Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13/ 1 Cor 3:16-23/ Mt 5:38-48
February 26 Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7/ Ps 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17/ Rom 512-19/ Mt 4:1-11


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