Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time (February 5, 2017)

Today’s readings remind us that we are the light of the world. For St. Francis de Sales, this means sharing our life in Christ with others in order to glorify God:

Just as Jesus enlightened the world with the radiance of His life, we too must do likewise with our lives. You ought to feel honored in being chosen for this mission. Consider the nobility and excellence of being human. You are endowed with the gift of understanding that knows this visible world and that there is a God, most good and most indescribable. You know there is an eternity. You also know what manner is best designed for living well in this visible world so that you may enjoy God for all eternity. Moreover, you have a most noble will that can love God and your neighbor. Look into your heart and behold how generous it is. God’s love in you calls you to love others.

We can never love our neighbor too much, provided God’s love holds first place in our heart. The image of God in all of us is our most powerful motive for loving each other. Loving our neighbor gives us the opportunity to do much for God. Do not say I am not virtuous enough or I have no talent to speak well. That does not matter. Go ahead. Do what you have to do. God will tell you what to say and do. If ever you have fear, say to yourself: “The Lord will provide.” Our heart finds rest solely in God, who cares for us.

Do not worry that you are not producing the fruit you intend. You will only be asked if you have faithfully cultivated well these barren and arid lands. Others will have a more abundant life by the example you give them. Go, hence, in simplicity and filled with courage. Our Savior will be with you always as long as you work for God’s glory. Just as the stars are hidden in the sunlight, so ‘Our life is hidden in Christ with God.’ Walking in God’s Light, and sharing our abundance of God’s love in us, we are light of the world.

(Adapted from the writings of Saint Francis de Sales)