5th Sunday of Epiphany
February 5, 2023
Theme: “Go and Proclaim: We are salt and light of the World”

First Reading: Isaiah 58:1-9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 112:1-2,4,5-7,8-9
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:2-5
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-20
Homily by Fr. Romie-Jun Peñalosa

How do we value Christ in our life?

In his homily today, Father Jun shared a story about a king who has three daughters. One day, he asked them how they value him in their life. The eldest said he is like gold to her while the second one valued him like a diamond. The king was very happy knowing how precious he is to his daughters. But when the youngest turned to answer, she told her father that he is like “salt” to her. The king got mad about the princess and he commanded her to be locked up. But the queen heard their conversation and so she intervened. She commanded the royal kitchen not to put any salt in the food prepared for the king. And it went on for weeks, even months until the king weakened because he cannot eat well. The queen then made him realize something about salt when she invited him to the kitchen and let him see by himself how his food was being prepared. The king clamored to the queen because there was still no difference in taste. It was bland and tasteless. So the queen called the youngest princess and carrying a jar of salt, she let her daughter sprinkle it in his father’s food. The moment the king ate the food, it made him realize how much her daughter values him!

Today, many of us think that life has no value. We don’t have the money or power to change the world. But Jesus said, “You are the salt of the world”. He talks here about our influence and how we can change things around us through our lives. Bringing out the Gospel and preaching it to the world is the only ingredient that can change the world. To preach the Gospel means to live it out because its message is seasoned by the salt of our living. As salt, we “season” life, we give flavor, and we preserve life. We can change the world through the life we live and by influencing others. We can do this by following Christ. When we follow Christ, we love God. And it is not hard to love God when we understand how He loves us. As salt also, we have the power and the ability to influence the world. However, Jesus also warned us not to lose our saltiness. For if we lose it, then we became useless. So let us guard our hearts and our minds. Compromising loses our flavor: our saltiness. Living out the life of Christ maintains the balance of flavor in our life.

Understanding the truth of God’s love for us, we learn to love our neighbors also. When we have so much love in our hearts, we are salt already such that whenever we go, we season the world around us. The saltiness in our life is holiness. Holiness is living life in love despite our sins. And by living it deliberately, we can change our surroundings and our community for we also become light that illuminates the darkness. As light, we bring peace wherever we are. We bring understanding to everyone. We shine by being aware of God’s love. Thus, when we shine, we honor God.

Lastly, Father Jun encourages us to go out and shine. Life is too short to be wasted in the four corners of the room. We need to live out the life God intended us to be. The moment is now and we need to act immediately. Every day we wake up, let us be conscious of Jesus and let us deliberately live out His life. We should not allow any hindrances to ruin or corrupt the saltiness and the illumine that is in us already!

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