Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
(I Kings 17:7-16; Matthew 5:13-16)
People like to think of themselves as good. Yet they find themselves giving in to selfishness and other vices. How can they live with the contradiction? They mix and match self-perceptions and actions in the endeavor to keep themselves on the positive side of the moral ledger. For example, a man may try to justify looking at pornography by buying his wife a bouquet of roses on their anniversary. Such deceptive bookkeeping hardly approaches what Jesus has in mind in the gospel today.
Jesus wants his disciples to shine with goodness. They are to be as common as salt by mixing among others. And they are to be as helpful as light showing the way to moral righteousness. Indeed, they are to live in such exemplary ways that their neighbors will thank God for having them in their midst.
We should never justify an immoral act by saying, “Everyone does it.” The statement is patently false; everyone does not look at pornography or take a bribe when offered. In any case such actions do not meet Jesus’ expectations of us. As his disciples Jesus is calling us to give perfect example to all those whom we encounter.