February 9, 2020 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/020920.cfm)
Weeks after ordination, four newly-ordained priests were summoned by the bishop for a meeting in his house. As they have settled down in his office, the bishop addressed them: “Young fathers, I have here some piece of stone, cotton, clay and sugar. I want you to choose one of these things and place them on a glass of water before you.” And so they did as asked by the bishop. Then the bishop: “Before I will announce to you your new assignment, I want you to learn something from the little exercise we did. Consider the glass of water as your new assignment and consider the kind of priest will you be in your new assigned parish community… You can be a stone who does nothing except to be a new added member in the community. You don’t influence the community and the community does not influence you… You can be a cotton who easily adjust in the community but eventually reduced and diminished the members because you centralized everything to you. Everything in parish life is now about you, and not them… You can also be a clay who slowly adjust to the community, but eventually create disorder, problems, tensions and a lot of stress in the community, thus becoming a negative influence to them. But… you can also be a sugar who slowly adjust and selflessly dissolve at the background into the community – sharing positive influence and energy to make the community sweet, and change it for the better.
In life, we do encounter different kinds of leaders in our community. Like the bishop, we may have categorized our leaders as the Stony heartless leaders who does not care at all, or as the Selfish cotton “Me first” leaders who depletes our energy, or as the Evil clay tormentor leaders who sow chaos in life, or as the Selfless sugar Influencing leaders who encourage and inspire us in life. We prefer and expect our leaders to be selfless sugar influencer leaders who have been a blessing to us for they motivate and empower us to be responsible members and change our lives for the better. We also dislike and avoid the stony-heartless, the selfish cotton “me-first” and the evil claytormentor leaders for they make our community life heavy and miserable.
We hear Jesus in our gospel today saying: “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” From these words, surely Jesus like us, would also want and expect our leaders to be selfless influencers, who leads us by their words and example. However His words are not only addressed to our leaders but also to ourselves, His followers. When Jesus declares to us today that “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world”, He proclaims to us that with Him, we are not only already blessed but we are also God’s blessings to others. This means that as Christians, we are and we should be a blessing and a selfless influencing leader to others – to be light of the world, salt of the earth, and sugar within the community. Inasmuch as we have been blessed by the inspiration and witness of our selfless influencing leaders, we should also be selfless influencing leaders to others within our community. As we have been blessed by God and others, You and I, We as His followers are also and should be then God’s gift and blessings to others within our Christian community.
Perhaps consider then this week, the Christians people who have been light and salt in your life, who greatly and selflessly influence your growth and formation as a better person. Consider how they have been a blessing to you. Thank God for these Christian leaders for through them you are blessed.
Consider also the people for whom you are trying to be light and salt to – people under your care, direction and leadership. Consider as follower of Christ how you have been and trying to be a blessing to them. Pray to God for guidance and courage to be selfless influencing mentors to these people.
As a famous theologian, Hans Urs von Balthazar, once said: “What you are is God’s gift to you. What you become is your gift to God”. So, Be God’s blessing to others, as much as you have been blessed by God and others. Amidst a life that can be dark, broken and tasteless, Be a responsible Christian leader , a witness to be today’s salt of the earth & light of the world. So may it be. Siya Nawa. Kabay pa. Hinaut pa unta. Amen.
Shared by Fr. Mar Masangcay, CSsR – a Filipino Redemptorist Missionary in South Korea