Missionary Weekly Reflection
Sunday, 9 February 2020
Isa. 58:7-10; Ps. 112:4-5,6-7,8a,9; 1Cor. 2:1-5; Mat. 5:13-16
The word of Jesus today is part of the Sermon on the Mount. It is addressed to the disciples who have committed to His Kingdom values. The point is clear: Jesus wants them to be a characteristic group. First, the church that testifies in togetherness. Please note the formulation of Jesus’ words: “you are the salt/light of the world…” (v. 13, 14). “You” (plural) is always put at the beginning of the sentence! Collectivity of the church is emphasized. Together, their mission will succeed. Together, their testimony will be fruitful and effective. Does the togetherness turn off an individual talent and creativity? Absolutely not! Church collectivity is not communism or militarism. Communio does not extinguish charisma. The people of God is like “the city built on the mountain” (v. 14). The light of the city does not come from one lamp only but from a collection of all light that lit every house. So does it happen to the church of God: their testimony is stronger and more convincing when each member contributes each of their light, which is good behavior and deed.
Second, the church that is different from its surrounding world. It must become a “characteristic” group: posses a distinguished and visible identity. The visibility of life testimony is emphasized on this text: the city on the mountain, unhidden, light on the top of the lamp, glowing in front of people, to see, etc. It is the visible and felt character that the church contributes for its surrounding world. Salt is useful when it has distinctive taste, that is salty. Salt is useless if it is tasteless. Light will have its function when the surrounding is dark. Light of the lamp is irrelevant during a day time. The specialty of the church, typical behavior and deed, distinguished ethos and habit, that often make people so disturbed, judged, criticized, that they are angry and hate the church of God (cf. previous context, v. 10-12).
Third, the involved church. The church offers its characteristic contribution because it ia involved in the world. It becomes the salt and light to the world (v. 13 and 14). The world becomes the context of its mission and involvement. A church that withdraws itself from the world, that fortifies itself for its own holiness, is like a lamp put under a bowl. The church that always want to adapt itself to the world, without having its own character and without critical attitude, is like tasteless salt. Jesus requests His followers to be the salt: be present in the world, make their benefit sensed, in order for them to be appreciated and highly valued. What is the benefit of salt in the era of Jesus? Among the approximate 11 functions and benefit of salt of that time, the function of preserving food (meat/fish) may be intended. The Lord placed His church in the world to continue His work: to keep and maintain this world from being ruined and decaying. How? Through good deeds (v. 16). It is absolutely not to make people emulate them, nor to make them Christian, but to glorify the Father in heaven. Christian mission and living testimony is rooted from God and leads to His glory.
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Listen to the cry of the migrants: May the cry of our brothers and sisters – the migrants, victims of human trafficking crime, be listened, seriously responded and followed up by the concerned parties. We pray…
For Indonesian Churches intention:
The call for consecrated life: May the priests and religious people be able to make their life inspiring and be a testimony to the youth in order for them to be dare to follow the call for becoming priest and having monastic life. We pray…
We present the willingness of the Pastoral servants and lay cadres inside the Diocese to be more fair in their action and be a reflection of Divine Justice. We pray …