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Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Dear Brothers and Sisters, Fiat!

These Sundays the liturgy offers us the so-called Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel of Matthew. After presenting the Beatitudes last Sunday, today Matthew emphasizes Jesus’ words describing his disciples’ mission in the world.  He uses the metaphors of salt and light, and his words are directed to the disciples of every age, therefore also to us.

Jesus invites us to be a reflection of his light, by witnessing with good works. He says: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. These words emphasize that we are recognizable as true disciples of the One who is the Light of the World, not in words, but by our works. Indeed, it is above all our behaviour that — good or bad — leaves a mark on others. Therefore, we have a duty and a responsibility towards the gift received: the light of the faith, which is in us through Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit; and we must not withhold it as if it were our property. Instead we are called to make it shine throughout the world, to offer it to others through good works. How much the world needs the light of the Gospel which transforms, heals and guarantees salvation to those who receive it! We must convey this light through our good works.

The light of our faith, in giving of oneself, does not fade but strengthens. However it can weaken if we do not nourish it with love and with charitable works. In this way the image of light complements that of salt. The Gospel passage, in fact, tells us that, as disciples of Christ, we are also “the salt of the earth” (v. 13). Salt is an ingredient which, while it gives flavour, keeps food from turning and spoiling — in Jesus’ time there were no refrigerators! Thus, Christians’ mission in society is that of giving “flavour” to life with the faith and the love that Christ has given us, and at the same time, keeping away the contaminating seeds of selfishness, envy, slander, and so on. These seeds degrade the fabric of our communities, which should instead shine as places of welcome, solidarity and reconciliation. To fulfil this mission, it is essential that we first free ourselves from the corruptive degeneration of worldly influences contrary to Christ and to the Gospel; and this purification never ends, it must be done continuously; it must be done every day!

On December 2, 1935, Jesus tells Luisa that when the creature does and lives in the Divine Will, the Supreme Being darts through her with Its light continuously. It darts through her mind, and casts into it the nobility of the divine thoughts, in such a way that she feels in her intelligence, memory and will, the Sanctity, the remembrance of her Creator, the Love and the Will of He who, assuming the role of Actor, forms in it the divine order and wisdom; and darting through it, with Its kisses of light It casts the divine substance into her mind, in such a way that everything is noble, everything is holy, everything is sacred in her. This Actor of the Divine Volition, forming Its dwelling in the created intelligence, with Its power and mastery forms in it Its image. It darts through her heart, and forms the nobility of love, of the desires, of the affections and heartbeats. It darts through her mouth, and forms the nobility of the words. It darts through her works and steps, and forms holy works, and the nobility of the steps. And It darts not only through the soul, but also through the body, and with Its light It invests her blood and ennobles it, in such a way that the creature feels the fullness, the sanctity, the substance of divine nobility flow within her blood and through her members. This Actor of the Divine Will takes the office of insuperable Artisan, of transforming God in the creature and the creature in God. When the Divine Will has reached this, which is the greatest act It can do – that is, to form of God and of the creature one single life, rendering them inseparable from each other – It rests in Its work and feels such happiness in it, because It has conquered the creature, It has formed Its work in her, and has fulfilled Its Will. Then It seems that in the emphasis of Its love It says: ‘I have done everything, there is nothing left for Me to do other than possess her and love her.’

Each one of us is called to be light and salt, in the environment of our daily life, persevering in the task of regenerating the human reality in the spirit of the Gospel and in the perspective of the Kingdom of God.

don Marco
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