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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflection for February 5

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

February 5, 2017 —Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 5:13-16
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

Years ago, author Robert Fulghum wrote about Dr. Alexandros Papaderos, a theologian who lived on the island of Crete. During World War II the people of Crete opposed the Nazis, who retaliated viciously against men, women, and children. After the war, Dr. Papaderos led a movement to ease hatred between the people of Crete and the Germans.

Fulghum attended a seminar taught by Papaderos, and asked him, “What is the meaning of life?” Dr. Papaderos took out a mirror and said, “I was a small child during the war. One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. I kept the largest piece. This one. I became fascinated that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun could not shine: caves, dark closets. I kept the mirror, and when I became a man I realized that it was a symbol for what I could do with my life. I am part of a mirror whose whole design I do not know. I am not the light, but it will shine in many places only if I reflect it. I can reflect light, truth, understanding, and knowledge into the black places in the hearts of others and change some things in some people. Perhaps others will see and do the same thing. This is what I do. This is the meaning of my life.”

Last Sunday the church celebrated the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, where Simeon recognized him as “a light of revelation.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus says: “You are the light of the world.... your light must shine before others.” Our light comes from Jesus. Like mirrors we must reflect his light into places made dark by hatred, doubt, and fear.

Jesus says also: “You are the salt of the earth.” Jesus sprinkles our lives with truth, compassion, courage, generosity, and joy, asking us to share what he gives. What is the meaning of life? To be Jesus in the world today, to ease the world’s darkness by reflecting his light, to flavor the world with his love.
Read last week's reflection.