One Minute Reflection – 9 February – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church – 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Matthew 5,13-19.
Jesus said to His disciples: “You are the salt of the earth.
… You are the light of the world.” – Matthew 5:13, 14
REFLECTION – “You are the salt of the earth. It is not for your own sake, He says but for the world’s sake that the word is entrusted to you. I am not sending you into two cities only or ten or twenty, not to a single nation, as I sent the prophets of old but across land and sea, to the whole world. And that world is in a miserable state. For when He says: You are the salt of the earth, He is indicating, that all mankind had lost its savour and had been corrupted by sin. Therefore, He requires of these men, those virtues which are especially useful and even necessary, if they are to bear the burdens of many. For the man who is kindly, modest, merciful and just will not keep his good works to himself but will see to it, that these admirable fountains send out their streams, for the good of others. Again, the man who is clean of heart, a peacemaker and ardent for truth, will order his life so as to contribute to the common good. …
Then He passes onto a more exalted comparison – You are the light of the world. Once again, “of the world,” not of one nation or twenty cities but of the whole world. The light He means, is an intelligible light, far superior to the rays of the sun we see, just as the salt is a spiritual salt. First salt, then light, so that you may learn how profitable sharp words may be and how useful, serious doctrine. Such teaching holds in check and prevents, dissipation, it leads to virtue and sharpens the mind’s eye. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do men light a lamp and put it under a basket. Here again, He is urging them to a careful manner of life and teaching them, to be watchful, for they live under the eyes of all and have the whole world for the arena of their struggles.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Homily on Matthew).
PRAYER – King of heaven and earth, Lord God, rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed according to the commandments of Your law, so that now and forever, Your grace may free and save us. Teach us Lord to walk in the ways of the Cross of Your Son, our Saviour, longing for and rejoicing always in our heavenly home as St Cyril of Alexandria so lovingly and willingly inspires us to do. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God, forever, amen.