“God is the deep origin of all that we do
that is good and holy. The light of our concrete actions
illuminates not our heroism and sanctity,
but God’s activity in and through us.”
From “A Light Not of our Own Marking” by Richard R. Gaillardetz
Light and Salt: Jesus had a knack for using common place things to describe deeper, spiritual realities. We know both light and salt have the quality of permeating everything they come into contact with: light fully illuminates a room and salt seeps through the texture of the foods we eat to enhance and draw out its flavors. Salt has an additional quality – that of the preservation of food, such as in curing a ham. Today’s Gospel reminds us that faith has the power to touch every aspect of our lives and to give us the strength to daily run the race of living out our faith.
In the verses preceding first reading from Isaiah 58:7-10, the people had complained that their fasting was not effective in evoking a response from God. Isaiah 58:3-5 states that they wear sackcloth and bow their heads while at the same time pursuing their own interests rather than the interests of God. The true fasting that God prefers includes: “feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the naked.” [Homily Helps, Franciscan Media] Concrete actions that show our love of our neighbor, especially those in need, will get the attention of our Maker. These actions, states Isaiah, become a light that scatters the darkness of hopelessness.
We are called to not let our light go out or our salt go flat. We do this by putting our faith into action in serving the needs of others. Then, without preaching a word, our light will shine for all to see.