5 February, Sunday — Of use

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Isa 58:7-10
1 Cor 2:1-5
Mt 5:13-16

It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled underfoot by men.

Sometime after my wife’s baptism, her sister, who had not yet met Jesus, remarked to me that her sister is different. She said “She isn’t as hot tempered anymore, there’s something different.” 

There was a profound difference in the way she led her life after meeting Jesus. It is not enough to know who Jesus is and to have a 1 hour a week ‘relationship’ with the church (instead of with the person of Jesus Christ). I’m sure we all know of people that we would never know were Catholics if we didn’t meet them at an Easter or Christmas Mass or worse, until we attend their funeral wake.

As the late Pope Emeritus wrote in Deus Caritas Est, Catholicism is a relationship with a real person who gives our life a new direction, the person of Jesus Christ. I’m sure that if we seek to have such a relationship with this person, many of us would live differently.

There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution either. I met Jesus and started my relationship with him in a charismatic setting, but it would be very short-sighted of me to recommend only this path as the way to begin this beautiful journey/friendship. Diving deep into scripture, true devotion to Mary, frequent and deep Eucharistic adoration, deep and true contemplation, and even studying the faith, are some ways that have brought people into a deep life-changing and lifelong relationship with the Lord.

Have you ever tasted tasteless salt? I certainly have not. But I have at times been left with a bad taste in the mouth after encountering someone. Perhaps this is the kind of salt we should not be. It is time to turn the culture into one where someone who meets a Catholic, knows they met a Catholic. Someone with a deep conviction, whose faith cannot be shaken because it has been built on the firm foundation that is Jesus Christ.

Let us strive to be the city set on the mountain, let our light shine brightly. Let the reason for our hope and hope-giving disposition lead people to ask “what does he/she have and where do I find it?” This is the only way we can be led more and more to eternal life.

At the time that I was coming back into the church and starting my relationship with Jesus, Pope Benedict was the Pope and Deus Caritas Est was a particularly life-changing encyclical for me. As a tribute to him, I urge all who are reading this to pick up the wonderful Deus Caritas Est and digest it. It is one of his shorter works, but in no way does it lack in power and life-changing beauty.

(Todays OXYGEN by Daryl De Payva)

Prayer: Let us seek you and if we seek with all our hearts, draw us into a deep personal relationship with you. Grant us the grace and show us the way.

Thanksgiving: For the many ways we can find you and the many paths we can walk with you, thank you Lord.


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