Let us thank God for all He gives us by sharing His blessings with others
Reflections on the readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 9, 2020): IS 58:7-10; PS 112:4-5,6-7,8-9; 1 COR 2:1-5; MT 5:13-16
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
In the liturgical readings for today we hear the prophet Isaiah addressing the Jewish people at a difficult time in their history.
They had returned to their land after the Babylonian captivity and were trying to reestablish their own way of life. They designated certain fast days as a special sacrifice to God. Yet, Isaiah told them that it was not enough to fast or perform religious rites if their hearts were not in it. And that meant not only worshiping and loving God, but also loving and looking after one another. He encouraged them to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and help the poor and homeless. “If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday” (Isaiah 58:9-10). Hundreds of years later later, Jesus would also speak about the necessity of caring for those who were considered the least among people – and how closely He identified with them.
Almighty God deserves all the praise and thanksgiving we can offer Him. But doing good and reaching out to assist others, especially those in greatest need, is key to expressing our love and gratitude to Him. That’s what Christ tells us in today’s Gospel. He expects us to let our light shine because He is our light and our life. And every person we encounter deserves to have the gift of meeting Him in us, day by day – until we all finally meet in heaven.
Suggested missionary action: We can ask the Holy Spirit enlighten our hearts and guide our ways. And, since we will be in the Lenten season in a few weeks, let us remember that while we fast, we should also share our gifts and blessings with those in need.