Gospel of the Day – Matthew 5: 13-16

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.”

Reflection of Fr. Mauro Primavera on the Gospel of the Day

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The “earth” of which every man is made from is arid, and so without the Holy Spirit who dwells in Christians, man is the devil’s prey while the “world, without the “light” of their WITNESSES, is a slave to the lie of its prince, proud and selfish from the beginning. The earth without Heaven is black, like the world without love, because black is the color of selfishness; it is no coincidence that it is the dominant color in the clothes, even in the nail polish, of many deceived young people. For this, the world needs the candor of the RESURRECTION, the white of which the tunics of the baptized shine. An image of their life, which through the sacraments, is immersed in the purifying blood of the Lamb, who transfigures it.

Brothers and sisters, let us then faithfully walk in the Church, where the preaching and the proclamation of the Word, with the guidance of the shepherds and fraternal correction, helps us “not to lose the flavor” and not to “put the lamp under a bushel,” to flee that is, from the spiritual selfishness that avidly appropriates grace.

In Palestine, even today, bakers put salt plates in the ovens to trigger combustion. Over time, these plates become unusable and are thrown onto the street. It is an image that warns us about the danger that time and routine, or suffering, can “consume” the call in us, pushing us to neglect Grace. With the “loss of flavor,” we will serve only to be thrown onto the street and trampled by men, thus becoming irrelevant to the wife and husband, to the children, to everyone.

Instead, brothers and sisters, the difficulties and sufferings are precisely for us the “salt” that prevents the corruption of relationships and love. Still today in the Holy City of Jerusalem, not by chance placed on a mountain, the mayor is used to receiving a head of state by offering him bread and salt: “it is a custom that has biblical roots. Eating someone’s salt means being part of his; in fact, eating salt with someone means making a pact with him. The salt pact is an indissoluble pact” (F. Manns).

On the Cross, Christ offers us every day the salt that he ate, his salt. This welcomes us into his own house, which is an image of heaven, of the Church, which is the heavenly anticipation and therefore also of his life which, through the Holy Spirit, it flows in Christians. Due to this, they can enter into their history even when it is difficult.  Each event and each person constitute, in fact, the “skylight” on which the Lord places us so that through us, the world may be illuminated by the “light” of Easter that allows us to live with him. Thus “all” may “give glory to God,” that glory which death and sin snatch from their hearts. Therefore, seeing in us “our works” as children of God torn from sin who already live as heavenly citizens capable of entering into suffering, they will contemplate “our Father who is in heaven.” “They will see” that is, with a different “light” the facts of death that led them to doubt the existence and love of God, and they will begin to “give him glory” and to believe in Him, hoping that he will perform the same “works” in them, too.

Indeed, “God who said: Let the light shine from the darkness, shone in our hearts, to make the knowledge of the divine glory that shines on the face of Christ shine” (2 Cor. 4:6). It is an image of baptism, for which it is no coincidence that the Christian liturgy uses salt: “He created our salt so that we no longer touch death. You are the salt of the earth” (Rite for Blessing of Salt). Because of this, man is no longer earth but is now salt. The snake does not have the power to eat salt because death no longer has power over us. So, let’s eat even today the “salt” that the Lord offers us. Let us remain crucified with him so that the devil does not have power over us, and we can melt in love to give ourselves entirely to EVERYONE, and so the “light” of Easter reaches them because it has life.

 

God bless you,
Fr. Mauro