Originally delivered on February 18, 1990
Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18; Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48
In the Sermon on the Mount, we are told that we must love our enemies and pray for our persecutors because we are to love just as our Heavenly Father loves us. Although we may not be able to match God’s love in the same measure, we are nonetheless called to love in the same manner as Him. This week in 1990, when the homily was originally delivered, marked the release of a prophet in our time, Nelson Mandela, from prison after 27 years. His love and lack of animosity are a modern day reflection of the love that Jesus manifests for us and in today’s Gospel calls us to imitate.
Originally delivered on February 7, 1993
Readings: Isaiah 58:7-10 (73A); 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; Matthew 5:13-16
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is challenging each of us to determine what our gifts and talents are, but more importantly, how we are using those gifts. If we are the salt of the earth, then how is the special salt in each of us, the light of Jesus, meant to flavor the greater community? From Isaiah, we hear that we must “share our bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own.” That is, we are called by Jesus, to let our light shine, but for the poor, the oppressed, and the hungry. We might ask ourselves, in light of this day’s readings, how we are recognizing and changing the continual oppression of women, African-Americans, and gays and lesbians. Jesus is calling each of us to let our unique light shine for our sisters and brothers.