Today’s readings show us the value of following the commands of God and carrying Christ within our hearts. The Lord is saying that when we fast, we should also change our behaviour. When we change our behaviour, the light that will rise from us is not a light that we would have generated ourselves, but it is the light of Christ.
When we start following the commands of God, people will start seeing him living within us. God will become real inside us, and we will no longer want to project ourselves, but instead our desire will only be to bring glory to God.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm speaks of a person who has this light shining from within him or her. The Psalmist says that people, who carry God in their words and deeds, will be a light to people who are living in darkness.
Even when they have problems and struggles God’s light will give them strength. This is because they trust in God. They have surrendered their lives to God and therefore they know that God will take control of everything and resolve every struggle in his time and in his way. They have no fear, and their hearts are secure. Therefore, they can look beyond their struggles, help others and show them the love of Christ. In the second reading we can see that St. Paul was a disciple who trusted God completely. He humbled himself before Christ and surrendered his life to God. He devoted himself to knowing only about Christ and gave up everything else.
God gave us a command in the first reading – stop sinning and start doing good. Then the light of God will be seen within us. St. Paul followed this command that God gave him. He stopped persecuting believers, speaking badly or engaging in sinful acts and concentrated on God alone. The Gospel proclamation tells us that as followers of Christ we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The way we behave and live must make a difference in the lives of others so that they will see Christ within us and be drawn to follow him.
The Lord is calling us to let go of our problems and focus on helping others. To do this we should start building a relationship with him through prayer. As we nurture this relationship with God it becomes love and blossoms into intimacy. In this intimacy the secrets of God will be revealed to us and sacrifice and giving will not be a burden. Instead by sacrificing and doing things for others, we will become joyful.
Prayer: Abba Father, through my relationship with you help me to become the salt of the earth and a light to those in darkness. Amen.