Delight the Earth and Enlighten the World

by | Jan 31, 2023 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus is the great light that shines on those who walk in the dark.  He is the delight of those who live in the land of gloom.

As God’s wisdom, Jesus rejoices in the earth and finds his delight in humans (see Prov 8, 31).  And, of course, for him to be with us also means he delights us.  And he delights us for this basic reason:  he goes about to teach us, to preach to us the Good News of the kingdom, to heal us.  It is clear he does not live for himself but for us.

No, Christ does not please himself; he would rather please others, delight them.  He is one with God and worthy of our service.  Yet he makes no boast of being God; he becomes the slave of all.  And it is not enough for him to serve, for he also gives his life to ransom us.

Of course, we who say we are disciples should be as our Teacher.  We are not to seek our own delight but that of others.  We have to live for others, not for ourselves.  And this what it means, too, that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Salt is not for itself.  Only when it is mixed with food, to preserve or give it taste, that its reason to be proves true.  If no one uses it, it is worth nothing, even if one keeps it in a beautiful salt shaker or bottle.

And the light does not make us see in the dark is of no use either.  That is why we do not put a lighted lamp under a bushel basket.  We set it rather on a lampstand so that it gives light to those in the dark.  No, light is not for itself.

We who make up the Church are called to delight and enlighten others.

The Church —we are it— has it from Jesus, yes, that it must go out of itself.  As disciples, we are not to hide in a house with locked door due to all sorts of fear.  Far from us, then, to be like the snails who are afraid to go out of their shells (SV.EN XII:81).

Indeed, the Father’s Sent One sends us, too, and gives us the Holy Spirit.  Jesus wants us to go out to bring delight to the earth and light to the world.  That we get others to catch, be infected with, the beatitudes so they may have the joy and the light of the Good News.

In other words, we should be “a Church which goes forth.”  We are to obey the Lord’s call to go forth from our own comfort zone to reach out to the poor in all the “peripheries.”  All the places that the joy and light of the Good News have yet to reach (EG 20, 24).

We do have to go forth from our comfort zone.  After all, we are to embody the Sermon on the Mount.  Besides, there is no true bliss and glory where there is no giving up of the body and shedding of blood.  Where we do not mean to know but Jesus Christ on the cross.

Lord Jesus, you want us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the word; grant that we bring delight and light to others.

5 February 2023
5th Sunday in O.T. (A)
Is 58, 7-10; 1 Cor 2, 1-5; Mt 5, 13-16