Dear people of God, today is the 5th Sunday of the year in Ordinary Time. This is the day the Lord has made, and so we rejoice in it. This year in Kenya unlike other years, the media has focused its attention to needy students joining form 1. In response, for instance, members of national assembly have come to the aid of a boy captured on the media who walked 57 kilometers from his home to his new school. From different hospitals, critical patients have from time to time appeared in the media seeking financial assistance from the public. These cases and many others round the world remind us of our Christian obligation towards the poor and needy members of our society.
In the first reading the prophet Isaiah invites us to reach out to vulnerable persons; the hungry, the homeless, the oppressed and the naked among other cases. As we listen to the Word of God, let us ask ourselves, “What needy case is God bringing to my attention?” Is it the hungry around me, the sick, the prisoners, the orphans, the bereaved, depressed or the outcasts? Today the Word of God challenges us to become sources of hope to others. When we do this, we are touching the heart of God and so Isaiah says, God will hear our cry in turn and will answer our prayer in time of need. No wonder the Kiswahili song says “unapotenda wema wajitendea mwenyewe, unapotenda maovu wajitenda mwenyewe” in other words, the good you do comes back to you and the evil you do comes back to you. This being the case then, let us purpose to listen to others, empathize with them, protect them and share with them our spiritual and material resources, moved by the love of God.
In the gospel reading, Jesus calls his followers salt of the earth and light of the world. One would wonder why Jesus uses the symbols of salt and light. In Africa, particularly in rural areas where there are no fridges or freezers, salt is used to preserve foods especially meat. The question for you and me today is, “What is Jesus calling us to protect or to preserve as Christians? Is it our faith? Is it the Church doctrines? Is it the lives of others? Is it our Christian identity and values, is it our religious vocation or married life?
Salt used as a spice gives taste to food. In my life as a Christian what flavor am I adding to the community around me? To that school where I spent my day, to those patients with whom I interact day in and day out, to members of my small Christian community, to people in my village or estate, to members of parliament with whom I work? What impact am I making in the lives of others as a religious woman or man, a priest or a lay person? As we reach out to those desperately in need of our help, we become participants in Christ’s salvific mission. We are called to bring peace and healing to a world torn down by the ravages of war and hatred. As we hold Christ’s candle of love to his people we in turn become their light, their role model, and guide to the true Light, Christ the Lord.
Dear people of God let us ask God to release the power of His Spirit to govern our lives. In this way, we become more sensitive to the needs of those around and away from us. As Christians, we are called to give joy, hope, and meaning to the lives of God’s people. Carrying the light of Christ received at baptism we are charged with the mission of leading the way to life. This was the mission of Jesus and it remains our mission. As his followers and agents of evangelization, let us share the sweet taste of our lives with others. Let us hold the light of Christ to a world so broken. And may the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ remain with us as we reach out to His people. God bless you.
Bibiana Ngundo, LSOSF
Sr. Bibiana Ngundo is from Kenya and a member of the Congregation of the Little Sisters of St. Francis. By profession she is a teacher and currently, lecturer at the Catholic university of Eastern Africa (AMECEA). Besides teaching, Sr. Bibiana is involved in research both within and outside the campus. She also delights in composing and teaching liturgical music to choirs as an evangelization strategy.
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