In the Gospel for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2017, Jesus reminds his disciples to trust in the providence of God. “So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself” (Matthew 6: 33-34a). This is a hard saying for anxious people like me. My life experience has taught me that God takes care of us yesterday, today and tomorrow. So I have been relying less on myself and more on the loving care of God and others. With what worries do you need God’s help today?
In the Gospel for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus continues the Sermon on the Mount. “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5: 13). Salt adds flavor. Foods tastes flat without it. How are Christians salt? As salt makes food taste better, Christians make the world better. A simple act of Christian love makes a difference. Christians who give of themselves are Jesus for others. They help those in need. They give hope to the fainthearted. Disciples of Jesus make a difference by praying for a sick family member, advocating for justice for refugees, forgiving a hurtful person, checking on a shut-in neighbor, and more. How are you salt of the earth?