Tuesday, 13 June 2017 : 10th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in today’s Gospel, we heard the famous parable of our Lord Jesus Christ, the parable of the salt and the light, which He used in comparison to all of us His people, in how we ought to live our lives, filled with faith and commitment to Him, or else, we will be like those who claim to hold the faith, and yet have nothing in us to prove it.

Salt and light are two very important commodities at the time of Jesus, just as they are still important today. We may primarily know salt as a substance that gives our food its saltiness and good taste, but do you know that in the past, before refrigerators and electricity are available, salt is also a very important commodity used in the preservation of food products? Its saltiness preserves the food and kills any bacteria or dangerous pathogens that would otherwise grow in the food.

Similarly, light is very important for us, because without light, we cannot see anything. Our eyes can see the world and all the things around us simply because light is reflected off them and gets into our eyes, which is then processed by our brain and seen as a vision. Without light, vision is impossible. In our world today, inundated with various artificial light sources due to electricity and technology, it is often that we take light for granted.

But do you know that in the past, after the sun had set, which is our main source of light, there is really total darkness? There is no electricity or lightbulbs, or any artificial light source by whatever means? The only source of light at that time, was fire, and the ability of mankind in using fire was recognised as being very crucial in the development of our human societies.

Without the light, and also the heat, provided by the flame, using lighted candles, mankind could not do much at night time, when there was no sunlight. It was the light which allowed them to see in the darkness, dispelling the darkness and providing them with vision. It allowed people to travel safely at night and not veering off the road or falling into a ravine or into danger.

Therefore, Jesus our Lord used these two examples because they were very, very important to the people living at that time, referring to their usefulness. If they became useless by losing their prized properties, saltiness for the salt and light for the flame of the lighted candle, then they would be of no use and would be thrown away and discarded.

Thus, as Christians, as all those who believe in the Lord Jesus as our God and Saviour, all of us must not be complacent, or be ignorant of what we are supposed to do in our respective lives. We must not be found lacking of Christian virtues and live as if we are not Christian at all. Otherwise, we will indeed be like salt that has lost its saltiness, and light that no longer dispels darkness.

As Christians, we must be truly devoted to the Lord, in actions, words and deeds, so that in everything that we say and do, we glorify the Lord through them. Today, as we also celebrate the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, let us all also learn from his examples, as he was well known for his dedication and love to the people of God, especially to the poor, the downtrodden and all those who have lost hope.

He preached among the people, calling them to repent from their sinful ways, and he was so eloquent in his teachings that people came to him in droves, and believed in the Lord through him. He worked hard throughout his life, serving the poor and the sick, all those who have been suffering in this world. He did his best, in whatever way he could, to help the people of God, his fellow brothers and sisters.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, by looking at the examples of St. Anthony of Padua, all of us ought to be following his examples in our own lives. Let us all be true Christians in actions and deeds, doing whatever we can to love our God, and to love our brethren in the same way, as He had commanded us to do. Let us all be truly salt of the earth and light of the world, as our Lord called us to be.

May the Lord bless us all, and may He guide us all through in our actions, so that in everything that we say and do, we will always glorify the Lord and His holy Name, and will always be found worthy of His grace and love. Amen.

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