Gospel Reading July 19th
This Gospel reading forms part of our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. In this homily, Jesus outlines the kind of life that must be lead by those who seek the Kingdom of God.
The Sermon on the Mount begins by detailing how those who belong to Jesus are poor in spirit; they mourn, they hunger, are peacemakers and thirst for what is right. Christ then continues and says to his Disciples: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a bushel. Instead they put it on a stand, so let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father, who is in Heaven” (v. 14-16).
Light is a symbol of God who is the true uncreated light. The central revelation of this passage is that when people see the good and light-giving works of Christians, they give glory to the Father who is in Heaven, not to us. We are called to be the light of the world so that if people see us, they do not glorify us, they glorify God instead, since God manifestly inspires people of such spiritual quality and forbearance.
The miracle is that in this fallen world, where people are often at war with each other, God produces saintly people who love everyone without qualification; saintly people who are poor, who are mourning, who are meek, who are thirsting for what is right, who are merciful, who are pure in their heart, who are making peace, who stand persecution, ridicule, and reviling without reviling in return.
The existence of such people is a phenomenon. But we should remember that this is what we are called to be. Christian virtues then have not only a personal but public function. By living according to the gospel, doing the truth, we will bear good works and show the goodness of the Father to every person.
Source: June-July 2015 Lychnos Edition