10th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 K 17:7–16
After a while, the brook dried up because no rain had fallen in the land. Then Yahweh spoke to Elijah, “Go to Zarephath of the Sidonites and stay there. I have given word to a widow there to give you food.” So Elijah went to Zarephath. On reaching the gate of the town, he saw a widow gathering sticks. He called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel that I may drink.”
As she was going to bring it, he called after her and said, “Bring me also a piece of bread.” But she answered, “As Yahweh your God lives, I have no bread left but only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am just now gathering some sticks so that I may go in and prepare something for myself and my son to eat—and die.”
Elijah then said to her, “Do not be afraid. Go and do as you have said, but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me; then make some for yourself and your son. For this is the word of Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not be emptied nor shall the jug of oil fail, until the day when Yahweh sends rain to the earth.’?”
So she went and did as Elijah told her; and she had food for herself, Elijah and her son from that day on. The jar of flour was not emptied nor did the jug of oil fail, in accordance with what Yahweh had said through Elijah.
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt has lost its strength, how can it be made salty again? It has become useless. It can only be thrown away and people will trample on it.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a mountain cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and covers it; instead it is put on a lamp stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine before others, so that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven.”
I know a religious group that prays every morning that “the sympathetic influence, the catching force, the evident fullness of our hearts’ love for you” will deeply influence other people. They are noble sentiments, but they are too “knowing,” too self-conscious. That prayer was composed by someone with a political rather than a religious mind. What must be the effect of praying that prayer every morning? Jesus says instead: Put your light there and forget about it. Do not be conscious of how special you are! Just muck in with the rest of us, OK!
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