Tuesday June 10, 2003 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (2 Corinthians 1:18-22) Gospel (St. Matthew 5:13-16)
Saint Paul, in the first reading, tells us that Jesus was not “yes” and “no”, wavering about, but rather that He was always “yes” and that He is the Yes to every promise that God has made, the fulfillment of all His promises. So too, he says, for us it is our Amen to that Yes (amen meaning “so be it”, that we agree this is the way God has chosen to work and we are uniting ourselves with His work) that gives glory to God. He says, “The Amen from us goes through Him to God for glory.” And so, as we acknowledge that this is God’s Will, it gives the Lord the glory.
But it is not merely just to sit back and speak that “yes”, rather it is to act upon it. Our Lord makes that very clear in the Gospel reading today, that we are the salt of the earth, we are the light of the world, and God has placed us here for a reason. A lamp that is lit and put upon a stand cannot help but to give light. Salt cannot help but flavor things. So too, the Lord is making clear for us that, being Christian, it is just part and parcel of who we are that we cannot help but to be a good example to people. And He goes on then to tell us that our light must shine so brightly before others that when they see our good works, they will give glory to God.
So whether it is our speaking the Amen in general, to say “Yes, I believe that this is how God has chosen to work,” and that act of faith is giving glory to God; or whether it is by our actions when we are with others – the way that we speak about Our Lord, the example that we give to others, the way that we live our lives shining in the darkness of this world – that too gives glory to God. Both, of course, are necessary. We first have to say “yes” in faith that we believe what God has promised, and then we need to act upon what it is that we believe. It is not enough just to sit back and say, “I have faith that Jesus is God and that He is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises.” Saint James says, “Show me your faith without works, and I’ll show you the faith that underlies my works. Faith without works is dead.” We have to act upon what it is that we profess.
So we believe in Jesus Christ and we give glory to God in that faith, but then we have to act upon what we profess. If we believe that Jesus Christ is God, that He is the fulfillment of everything God has promised, then there is only one place for us to turn – that is, to the Lord – and trust Him and allow Him to work in us and through us so that God will receive the glory.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.