Events

View a calendar of upcoming events

Our History

Learn the history of our Parish

Clergy and Staff

Meet our clergy and staff members!

How to Become Catholic

Interested in becoming Catholic?

Front of Sacred Hearth Catholic Church in Conroe, TX

Weekend Mass Times

Saturday Vigil

5:00 pm | 7:00 pm SP

Sunday

7:30 am | 10:00 am | 12:30 pm SP | 3:00 pm SP | 5:30 pm

Contact Info

109 North Frazier St.
Conroe, TX, 77301

936-756-8186

parishoffice@shconroe.org

Follow Us On

Join Our Newsletter!

Purified Remnant of Israel

Post Date: February 2, 2023
Author: Ric Cross

A Reflection on the Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Is 58:7-10
Psalm: Ps 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Second Reading: 1 Cor 2:1-5
Alleluia: Jn 8:12
Gospel: Mt 5:13-16

Most scholars seem to agree that the last ten chapters of Isaiah (56-66), with the exception of a few passages here and there, were written at the end of the Babylonian Captivity (597-538 B.C.) and were directed to the returning exiles who are now the Purified Remnant of Israel. Purified through their chastisement at the hands of the Babylonians, they are now redeemed by God and called to a new way of life that will bring honor and glory to God and prosperity to those who abide by God’s precepts.

As it was the failure of the people and their kings to abide by God’s law that caused them to fall into the hands of the Babylonians, most of these chapters admonish the people to return to God in their actions, not just by their words. God requires observance of the law, observance of the Sabbath, and, above all, the practice of social justice toward the widow, the orphan, the oppressed and the alien in your midst. “Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed.” It is through the just and upright conduct of this purified remnant that God’s glory will be made manifest to the world and the returning exiles will live prosperously on the land and become the envy of all nations. This remnant is to be the light of the world.

When we read the Old Testament, we tend to think of it as documents written 2000 to 3000 years ago about the ancient Jews and the nations around them with little, if any, relevance to us in the modern world. But there is a very tangible relationship between the Old and New Testaments which is summed up in the expression: The New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. Ideally, we will find that relationship in our Sunday Masses when we look for the “golden thread” that binds the Old Testament reading to the gospel. I think we find that relationship this week in the concepts of “light” and “salt.”

Salt, of course, should be seen as a preservative; and light as enlightenment. If we look for the relationship of light and salt in our first reading, we see the author of this portion of the Book of Isaiah is calling on the Israelites who have returned from captivity in Babylon to preserve the law given to them by God through Moses. And, that law required them to protect the oppressed and the homeless, the widows, the orphans, and the aliens in their midst. In other words, the law requires social justice. Specifically, the law states: “Do not harvest every stalk of grain from your fields. If you miss a sheaf, leave it there for the widows and orphans” (Dt 24:19-20). Deuteronomy 15 tells us that every 7th year – the Sabbatical Year – all debts must be forgiven, and all slaves set free. Every Sabbatical Year the land must be left fallow; no plowing, planting or reaping. Let the land produce what it will, and what it produces is for the widows and orphans. If the Israelites adhere to these precepts, they will preserve the law and will be a light to the nations around them and God’s glory will be made manifest through the Purified Remnant of Israel.

In our gospel passage, Jesus addressed his disciples, referring to them as “the salt of the earth.” They are to influence the world around them by their deeds and their witness and by that witness, they will be as noticeable as “a city set on a mountain.” But, by extension, he is addressing us as well as we are told that we are to be the light of the world and we are not to hide that light. It is to shine forth in us to manifest God’s glory. Therefore, we should see ourselves as the purified remnant and that we, like the ancient Jews, are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, to manifest God’s presence by our conduct and observance of God’s law in our lives. But Jesus also warns us that if the salt loses its taste or the light goes out, we are good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

As an example of the conduct expected of us, St. Paul tells us in our second reading that his teaching and conduct are “not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power.” He doesn’t come in pomp and circumstance but with the humility of total trust in God and trust in the message he proclaims.

Our Responsorial Psalm continues the theme of justice in conduct as: “The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.”

Therefore, our golden thread this week is that we, like the purified remnant, have been redeemed by God, but for a purpose. And if we hope to spend eternity in the happy presence of God, we must fulfill that purpose. If we fail in that purpose, we reject God; and if we reject God, he cannot save us. Think of the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in chapter 16 of Luke. The God, who created you without your help, cannot save without your help. We, like the ancient Jews, are called to be the light of the world.

Reference:

Author: Ric Cross

Recent Posts

Repent and Believe

Repent and Believe

A Reflection on the Readings for the First Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2024 Reading 1 Gn 9:8-15 Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9. Reading 2 1 Pt 3:18-22 If you read the introduction to the Book of Genesis in the New American Bible, you will see that the first...

Reflection – February 4, 2024

Reflection – February 4, 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 4, 2024 READING 1 JB 7:1-4, 6-7 RESPONSORIAL PSALM PS 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 READING 2 1 COR 9:16-19, 22-23 GOSPEL MK 1:29-39 The introduction to the Book of Job in the New American Bible...

Monica’s Praise Report 1/23/24

Monica’s Praise Report 1/23/24

Has God ever used your annoying dog to teach you about your guardian angel?  He did that for me recently, and I can’t wait to share it. Every week, the same yard man in the same truck using the same equipment comes. Every week, it is the same, yet my genius dog after...

God’s Calling

God’s Calling

A Reflection on the Readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 21, 2024 Reading 1 Jon 3:1-5, 10 Reading 11 1 Cor 7:29-31 Alleluia Mk 1:15 Gospel Mk 1:14-20 The Book of Jonah was written tongue-in-cheek as the author intended there to be some humor in this...

Here I Am Lord

Here I Am Lord

A Reflection on the Readings for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Reading 1 1 Sm 3:3b-10, 19 Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 Reading II 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20 Alleluia Jn 1:41, 17b Gospel Jn 1:35-42 We are, again, in Ordinary Time, and this week, we...

Monica’s Praise Report 12/27/23

Monica’s Praise Report 12/27/23

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever.  Praise be His holy name.  All Glory Be to He who was, is, and is to come.  Glory and Honor to the most high God. Thank You, Lord, for all thy benefits.  Thank You for the Sacraments, and for the treasury of Grace from which...

How do we respond to God?

How do we respond to God?

This fourth weekend of Advent reminds us of how God calls us to do amazing and sometimes overwhelming things for life, ours, and others alike. The catch is that there is a choice: we can say no or yes. I can honestly say that as I tend to grow older, it seems that...

A Season of Preparation

A Season of Preparation

A Reflection on the Reading for Sunday, December 10, 2023 Reading 1 Is 40:1-5, 9-11 Responsorial Psalm Ps 85:9-10-11-12, 13-14 Reading 2 2 Pt 3:8-14 Gospel Mk 1:1-8 The Season of Advent is a season of preparation. It is preparation not only for the celebration of...

Monica’s Praise Report 11-24-23

Monica’s Praise Report 11-24-23

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever! Praise be His Holy Name. All praise and all glory to Our Lord and Savior.  Blessed is He who was, who is, and who always will be. Thank You, God, for Your guidance.  Thank You, God, for all thy benefits.  Thank You for the...

Good and Faithful Servant

Good and Faithful Servant

A Reflection on the Readings for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, November 19, 2023 Reading 1 Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31 Responsorial Psalm Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 Reading 2 1 Thes 5:1-6 Gospel Mt 25:14-30 The Book of Proverbs is a collection of ancient literature, the...

Local Angels

(Our Sponsors)

For more information on how to showcase your business and sponsor this site, please send us an email.

Only 6 2 spots available, first come first served! One sponsor per industry.