Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 6, 2011
Isaiah 58: 7-10
I Corinthians 2: 1-5
Matthew 5: 13-16
The two Scripture Passages from the New Testament assigned by the Church to this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time seem to be opposed to one another.
In his first Letter to the Christians living in Corinth, St. Paul unites: “I do not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom…I came to you in weakness, fear and much trembling…not with persuasive words of wisdom…
And yet, in the passage from Saint Matthew’s Gospel, Christ says: “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…
How are we to understand these two seemingly contradictory statements? Can they be reconciled?
The Answer lies in the Person and the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. In and by him, Paul the Apostle was a weak and sinful man, filled with flaws and imperfections. Alone, on his own, so to say, he was able to accomplish nothing.
But, assisted by and in union with Christ, Paul becomes “the salt of the earth…the light of the world.” And, as we learn from his Letters and from the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Paul becomes the most effective missionary in the history of the Church.
You and I can draw lessons from these important passages from Sacred Scripture. We too, if we are honest, are well-aware of our sins and weaknesses. We know our faults, our failings and our imperfections.
Yet, we know also that Christ loves us and that He gives to us all of those Graces which are necessary to live as He wills us to do and to accomplish those tasks which we alone are called to accomplish.
I wish to encourage everyone, but especially young people, to understand that Christ is at your side. Speak with Him, tell Him what you are thinking and be certain that He will help you each day throughout the entirety of your lives.