Weekly Reflections for February 5, 2023

Today, we celebrate the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The reading in Matthew’s Gospel (5:13-16) continues into the Sermon on the Mount. Speaking to His disciples, Our Lord described them as the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The images of salt and light would be familiar to readers of the Old Testament, in which salt is associated with several of God’s covenants and light symbolizes God’s truth.

We, Christians, are called to be salt, to season and preserve the world with peace and gracious speech toward everyone, especially the faithless. We too are called to be light, to make known the Truth in Jesus Christ by proclaiming the Gospel in word and deed. This is God’s will to bring all nations—all people—into His kingdom.

This past Thursday, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas. This celebration commemorates the day Joseph and Mary brought the infant Jesus to Jerusalem, where He was consecrated to God. There, the prophet Simeon recalled the words of Isaiah, calling the Christ Child, “…a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

For centuries, Catholics would bring candles to church on Candlemas to be blessed. Although most people have moved on to light bulbs now, one thing remains unchanged. The world is still hungry for the Light of Christ. Will you be the one to let Him shine in you?

The Catechism teaches us:

1695 “Justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God,” “sanctified . . . [and] called to be saints,” Christians have become the temple of the Holy Spirit. This “Spirit of the Son” teaches them to pray to the Father and, having become their life, prompts them to act so as to bear “the fruit of the Spirit” by charity in action. Healing the wounds of sin, the Holy Spirit renews us interiorly through a spiritual transformation. He enlightens and strengthens us to live as “children of light” through “all that is good and right and true.”

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