Sunday 5th January
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
A Reflection by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB
Matthew here takes two piquant images from the words of Jesus which he found in Mark’s Gospel and builds on them. This text follows immediately after the Beatitudes, with which he began the Sermon on the Mount; now he shows that these Christian attitudes are not just for our own benefit but are to change the world.
The first teaching is a warning, the second a promise.
Christians are to be salt for the whole world. Imagine a perpetual diet of food without any tang or taste, soggy and insipid! This would be the world if Christians did not spread the good news of Christ, did not impart to the world the flavour brought by Christ’s message. What would the world be without that message and without the challenge of the generosity and salvation of Christ which we profess?
Yes, of course much of the same message may come to the world through other great world-faiths, but the full challenge and the full promise is in Christ.
The same is true for the second image, that of light. Imagine a world of darkness, where we had to feel our way and are never quite sure of shapes and purposes! And then what a difference occurs when the sun rises over the horizon or the light is switched on.
Such is the difference which Christianity – and our Christianity – must make to the world
What is the best way that I can share with my friends the joy of knowing Jesus?
Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB
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