Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time
February 5, 2023 •
In this passage from Isiah, we're told that not only are there certain things we have to do, there are certain things we have to remove to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world! Oppression. False accusations. Malicious speech.
You know, about a month ago I preached about gossip and it's come up several times because people keep bringing it up to me. It was one of those homilies that stirred up a lot of concern and conversation.
Notice for a moment: false accusations and malicious speech. You have to remove that from your life to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Why?
Because if you go around trying to do good, and yet you gossip and slander, then all of those virtuous deeds that you may do become useless and meaningless.
The Bible says if you gossip and slander then your praise of God is worthless, and your prayers cannot be heard. You're using the same tongue to call on God and praise His Name that you are using to tear other people down.
The gift of speech is one of the greatest natural gifts bestowed upon us after life itself. We can do something that God can do - in fact, what God is. God is the Word. He's given us this power to speak word ourselves. This ability - to speak words, to communicate ideas, truth - has to reflect the Truth. The Word.
Anytime I use this gift in a way that is contrary to God - God's own goodness, nature, glory - I pervert the gift of speech.
This is something we have to master.
You cannot be the salt of the earth and the light of the world without doing that. Why do you think the world is tasteless and in darkness?
So how do we master ourselves? The solution is not quick, but it is simple. Practice silence. . . .
If you can't quiet your mind, you'll never be able to quiet your lips.
Even if it's just for a few minutes, stop by the church and spend the time quietly with our Lord asking Him to teach you how to quiet your own mind. To practice the virtue of silence.
Is 58: 7-10; Ps 112:4-9; 1 Cor 2:1-5; Mt 5:13-16
Homily begins at 22:22