Theme of The Sunday: The Christian Is Salt and Light. The theme of the Sunday is contained in the two parables of the gospel. The figure of light is given more importance than that of salt and, in fact, the first reading refers also to the theme of light. The second reading is related to this theme. Paul states that good works are the sign of the presence of the Spirit. They are the concrete proofs of the truth of the beliefs proclaimed by Christians.

FIRST READING
“Your light shall break forth like the dawn.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah, 58:7-10

Thus says the Lord: “Share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, cover him, and do not hide yourself from your own flesh. Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, Here I am. If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.”
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM       Psalm 112:4-5.6-7.8a and 9 (R. 4a)
R/. A light rises in the darkness for the upright.
Or:  Alleluia.

A light rises in the darkness for the upright;
he is generous, merciful and just.
It goes well for the man who deals generously and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice. R/.

He will never be moved;
forever shall the just be remembered.
He has no fear of evil news;
with a firm heart, he trusts in the Lord. R/.

With a steadfast heart he will not fear.
Open-handed, he gives to the poor;
his justice stands firm forever.
His might shall be exalted in glory. R/.

SECOND READING        
“I have told you of the mystery of Christ crucified”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, (I Corinthians 2:1-5)

When I came to you, brethren, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA    John 8:12
Alleluia. I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
he who follows me will have the light of life. Alleluia.

GOSPEL  
“You are the light of the world.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew, 5: 13- 16

At that time:  Jesus said to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
One thing that salt and light have in common is that they both make a difference wherever they are. Jesus is so definite in what his followers should be. You are the salt of the earth, you are the light of the world, says he. Christians are not called to blend into the world. Rather, our Christianity must permeate the world  with our values, good works and example of love. Isaiah in our first reading points out the ways that we can be salt and light today. The corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry, provide shelter for the homeless, clothe the naked, be there for your family, and avoid selfishness, arrogance and greed. With these qualities, we must strive to make a positive difference in the world by our very lives and through the church.

Prayer of the Faithful
Celebrant: Let us now pray that the light of God may dawn upon all God’s holy people:

That we may be the “salt of the earth,” bringing the compassion and peace of God to our homes and communities: let us pray to the Lord.

That our Church may be a “light” for the world, reflecting in our worship and ministries the love and forgiveness of God: let us pray to the Lord.

That all nations, states, and cities may seek the justice of God for all people: lets us pray to the Lord.

That our compassionate God may be present to us in times of pain, despair, and grief: let us pray to the Lord.

That the poor, the hungry, and the oppressed may always find a place of warmth and welcome among us: let us pray to the Lord.

That those who have died may walk forever in the light of the Risen Christ: let us pray to the Lord.

That God will hear the prayers we now make in the silence of our hearts.

Lord God, we cry to you for help. May the good we do for others, the compassion we offer to those in need, and the justice we seek for all men and women make us worthy of your favourable hearing of these prayers. In Jesus’ name, we pray.

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