“You are the light of the world…“ (Mt. 5:14)
This Sunday’s Gospel (Mt. 5:13-16) continues Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. This “sermon”: is found in Matthew 5-7 is the clearest teaching of Jesus on discipleship.
As in the beatitudes proclaimed last week, Jesus begins his teaching on discipleship with a clear reference to the goodness (Blessedness) found dwelling in his disciples through the grace of God. “You are the light of the world…. “ We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) in the image of God (Gn. 1:27). But now Jesus moves that teaching a step further.
Sin is recognized as the enemy of grace. The profound grace God has given us is not meant for the individual. It is meant to be shared. God’s grace, given to us, “cannot be hidden.” The gift that we have received demands to be shared. God’s grace bubbles over and cannot be contained in our small hearts, but overflows. The flow of grace must not stop in the disciple. It is a gift given to be passed on. God’s grace must not be kept for ourselves, It must be given away. As disciples of the one who lays down his life for his friends (See. Jn. 15:13), we are also called to lay down the gifts we have been given and use them for the sake of others.
If we fail to share the gifts we have been given as disciples of Jesus we block the flow of grace. We sin. We put the gifts we have been given under the “bushel basket” of sin and selfishness. Whenever we do this, we are hoarding something that is meant to be shared and are “no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Mt. 5:16).