Salt and Light Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Yr. A

Salt and Light

The Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time Year A


This is one Sunday when the three Readings, the Antiphons and the Psalm, all present, very obviously, the same theme. And that theme is our call to be uncompromising light within the world – to be salt that brings healing to a world – a world that lives under the weight of darkness – the darkness that comes from injustice bringing with it spiritual and material poverty – spiritual and material immorality.

So I have been moved to put together in blank verse the various passages, – as one phrase, or verse seems to answer, or enhance another from the Readings, Psalm and Antiphons.

Little needs to be said as they speak for themselves in a challenging and profound way.  I have noted from where each of the verses comes within the Liturgy of the Word.

Thus says the Lord:

Is this not the fast that I choose:

To loose the bonds of injustice   ((s. 58:6)

It is well with the person who deals generously and lends,

Who conducts their affairs with justice. (PS 112)

You are the light of the world.

A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. (Mt  5:14)

Light rises in the darkness for the upright:

Gracious, merciful and righteous. (Ps 112)

The fast that I choose –

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,

And bring the homeless poor into your house;

And when you see the naked to cover them? (Is 58:7

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be consoled.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

For they shall have their fill.  (Com. Ant. Mt. 5:6)

I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling ….

So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom,

But on the power of God. (1 Cor 2:5)

In the same way let your light shine on human beings, so that

They may see your good works and give glory

To your Father in heaven.  (Mt 5:16)

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;

You shall cry for help, and he will say,

Here I am.(Is 58:8)

O come, let us worship God and bow low before the God who made us,

For he is the Lord our God. (Ent. Ant. Ps 94:6,7)

The one who has distributed freely, who has given to the poor,

His righteousness endures forever. (Ps 112)

If you remove the yoke from among you,

The pointing of the finger,

If you satisfy the needs of the afflicted,

Your light shall rise in the darkness

And your gloom will be like the noonday. (Is 58:9,10)

Light rises in the darkness for the upright. (Ps Ref.)

I decided to know nothing among

you except Jesus Christ,

And him crucified. (1Cor 2:2)

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;

Whoever follows me will have the light of life. (Gospel  Acc.)

Unafraid of evil tidings;

Their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord. (Ps. 112)

You are the salt of the earth.

You are the light of the world.(Mt 5)

Put your lamp on the lampstand, for all to see. (Mt. 5:14)

For He satisfies the thirsty soul,

And the hungry he fills with good things. (Com. Ant. Ps 106:9)

In this juxtaposition of the this Sunday’s Liturgy of the Word  we see the ground work for the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and the interior soil that is needed for them to flourish within.

So, here are the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  What is apparent from the Readings is that all works of mercy are spiritual.  They all stem from our being told by Jesus that we are the Light of the world and the salt of the earth – dispelling darkness and bring healing. And St. Paul says in the Second Reading, that this is   – all through the Crucified Christ.
To behave mercifully, is to “worship God and to bow down low before the God who made us.”(The Entrance Antiphon)


The corporal works of mercy:
feeding the hungry
giving drink to the thirsty
clothing the naked
offering hospitality to the homeless
caring for the sick
visiting the imprisoned
burying the dead

The spiritual works of mercy:
admonishing the sinner
instructing the ignorant
counseling the doubtful
comforting the sorrowful
bearing wrongs patiently
forgiving all injuries
praying for the living and the dead


May we be the light of Christ and the salt of the earth – The city on the hilltop for all to see.

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