Key words for the Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time include:
Moloch equaling both salt and messenger, angel, and king.
Tephel and table meaning tasteless and then seasoned. Table also means the world in the sense of cosmos.
Oar and Air sound like “Oar.” Oar means light, and Air means city. The root word for Oar is Or are and means a breaking through as in a knife breaks through to make a hole. We are to be that which breaks through the spiritual world and enters the physical one.
Oar is again light. Naor means to shine. A Nar is a candle.
Ephah means both a dry measure of about two gallons, or character, disposition, or temper.
B oar means the world. M oar means a pasture. Neh oar is a flock. We are the light of the pasture.
The lamp, candle, is a single light. It is placed on a menorah. One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith is the menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum used in the Temple. The menorah is a symbol of the nation of Israel and its mission to be “a light unto the nations.” “Behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes, seven, to the lamps, which are upon the top thereof. ‘This is the word of the NAME unto Zerubbabel, saying: Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, says the NAME of the procession of the sky.” Zechariah 4:1-6
“You are the salt/Moloch of the earth/table. If salt/Moloch loses its taste/becomes Tephel. With what can it be seasoned/table? It is but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light/Aor of the world/B oar rayah. A city/Air set on a mountain/Are cannot be hid. Nor do they light a lamp/Nar and put it under a measure; it is set on a menorah, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your beautiful works and show the importance of your heavenly Father.” Gospel for Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time.
This Sunday’s readings are about evangelism. We are the messengers of the world, but what does that mean. Jesus compares being a messenger, Molech, with being salt, Molech. We are not just any messenger. We are the messenger to the world, and not just any world, but one that is seasoned. If salt is no longer seasoning, how can it season the world? We have an obligation to the world to bring Christ to it, but we must do so as seasoning.
Seasoning does not do violence to what it seasons. It augments it. If we do violence to the world to bring Christ, we do not season it, but make the world Tephel, tasteless. We make the world worthy of nothing but to be trampled underfoot.
Likewise, we are the Oar of the world B oar. B oar means the world. M oar means a pasture. We are the light of the pasture. We cannot hide a city, Air set on a mountain, Are. We are the world’s shepherds. Our light is a gentle light. God calls us to be the gentle light of the lighthouse, the city on the hill giving its light to everyone who chooses to see it. Jesus does not speak of a bright light, but of a shepherd who brings his flock to God.
We do not light a flock and put it under a dry measure. We are not things. We are people and we need to remember all of us are people, made in God’s image. We are not isolated cases, Nar, but we are set in a menorah, a candelabra, a lampstand with many lights. We are social beings, a community. “Community” is a fancy Latin word meaning shared in common, promoting the general welfare. When we show our ideal community, one where everyone cares for everyone else, we become that light to the world. Let us go out into the world and be the messengers, the leaders who cause this nation to once again be a Christian nation, by promoting the general welfare, making this nation a place all the nations want to copy, where people will want to live.