Salt, Light, and a City Set on a Hill

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (A) – Matthew 5:13-16

As we continue to hear from the Sermon on the Mount, we once again hear familiar images coming from the mouth of Jesus: “salt of the earth”, “light of the world”, “city set on a hill”. Even people who aren’t members of any church will recognize these images. But what do they mean for us? How are we salt, or light, or a city on a hill?

Jesus says, “You (plural) are salt; you (plural) are light; you (plural) are that city”. So, who is this “you”? It is all those who follow Jesus: his disciples, his Body, his Church. All believers, together. And who are we as believers? We are the people, first of all, whom Jesus has just described in the Beatitudes, which came just before this passage.  Continue reading “Salt, Light, and a City Set on a Hill”

Buying and Dying

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (A): Matthew 5:3-12

Do I have a price? Or, can I (or you) be bought?

What I mean is this: is there any thing I want so much that I would betray some fundamental value in order to get it? We are all faced with this dilemma. We all feel the pressure to do this. It might have happened when we were children, when we had the chance to join one of the “right” groups in school – if we were willing to betray or ignore someone who had been a true friend to us. It might be the pressure we feel (at any age) with a group of people who begin to share malicious gossip about someone else. It may be a situation where we could advance at work by cheating or stabbing someone else in the back. Or, it might be the desire to blend in and not stand out from the crowd that keeps us from saying something that we know should be said.  Continue reading “Buying and Dying”