Let our light shine!
The metaphor of light suggests public presence. Light suggests a social reality that can be perceived, experienced and imitated by all. The image of light as an attribute of God’s people suggests the powerful notion that as a people, we are called to be a force for good in society. By becoming the people adhering to the Beatitudes, we become the light that has dawned in our world. We become agents and witnesses of God’s kingdom in our world. Christ, as our Savior and Lord, has come among us to show us the way to eternal life. He wants us to be the light of the world and salt of the earth so that our actions might lead others to follow God’s will in their lives and build His kingdom in this world.
As a Christian community, one of the powerful ways that we become the light of the world is our preferential option for the poor. The power of God’s love is shown through the lives of those who work for the poor. In our concern for the poor and the oppressed, we become agents of God’s kingdom that is characterized by the love that Christ has left us as a legacy.
The reading from the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 56:6-10) invokes God’s people that their piety should consist in acting on behalf of the poor and the powerless, including action against unjust structures in society. The concrete actions that flow from true faith is sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked and fighting against injustices. Such concrete applications of the faith make God’s people a light dawning for all peoples. Psalm 112 echoes the theme of light dawning on the just whose lives give glory to God.
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1Cor 2:1-5) continues with theme of God’s power as the source and inspiration of all the efforts in preaching the Good News to the poor. The gospel’s imperative to become the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” is what the ancient prophets called the Chosen People to be: a people whose life is characterized by justice and the preferential option for the poor. (Matthew 5:13-16)