Here is a summary of Fr Neil’s homily for 9th February:

Jesus calls those who follow him ‘salt and light.’ Salt preserves and purifies, light scatters darkness, brings understanding and reveals the way. Salt and light are the characteristics of all Christians. Therefore we should not hide or neglect to use those gifts or follow the way set before us. Otherwise we are in danger of being Christian in name only; a sham and a shadow of what we are meant to be.

How are we to be light or salt though? Isaiah reminds the people of Israel of their vocation to be a light to all the nations revealing the ways of God and his glory. Jerusalem was built on a hilltop, a bit like a lamp put on its lamp stand. The light of its glory- the presence of God is its heart- the temple was to draw all nations to it, to him.

This vocation to light bearing witness to God is at its clearest when the hungry are fed, the homeless find shelter, the naked are clothed and relief is given to the oppressed.

As Isaiah says “Then your integrity will go before you and your light, like the dawn will rise in the darkness.” St Paul states that the only knowledge (light?) he claims is about Jesus as the Crucified Christ. He reminds us that the supreme act of liberating love was that of Christ- God seeking out the lost and those who reside in the shadows of death. In his letter to the Galatians he says, “The Lord Jesus Christ, who in order to rescue us from this present wicked world sacrificed himself for our sins…” It is Christ who sets us free by his death and resurrection into life, light and hope.

St Paul also goes on to say “far from relying on any power of my own, I came among you in great fear and trembling…” Our vocation to be salt and light is not by our own effort to draw people into our own light but by the power of the Holy Spirit to draw people to the true light, the real temple of God’s presence- Christ the Lord.