Praying Sunday’s Gospel Feb 9

Lectio Divina and Visio Divina on Matthew 5: 13-16

5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – February 9, 2020 

Resources to help you pray with scripture using Lectio Divina and/or Visio Divina

Lectio Divina is a way of hearing God speak to us.  This is the Gospel that will be read in its entirety on Sunday at mass. 

You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world.

Matthew 5:13, 14

Matthew 5: 13-16

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.


Following upon the teaching of the Beatitudes, Jesus uses the now familiar metaphors of salt and light to describe the life of discipleship. We take salt and light for granted in our society, but these commodities were more precious in ancient cultures. Just as now, salt was used in Jesus’ time for flavoring, as a preservative, and as a healing agent. Similarly, the widespread use of electricity in the modern world makes us less aware of the value and importance of light in our lives.  Still, our familiarity with this passage from Matthew’s Gospel speaks well to the abiding power of the imagery that Jesus presented.  Jesus’ call to be salt for the earth and light for the world powerfully states our mission as Church and as Christians. Our commitment to social justice flows from the exhortation that Jesus gives us in today’s Gospel. Some of the activities that this commitment leads us to are given more concrete expression as the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. When we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, console those who mourn, and so on, we show ourselves to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. When we do these things with the community of faith, the Church, we are indeed acting as “a city set on a mountain” that cannot be hidden!”


Visio Divina

Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, Nova Scotia. Photo by Les Miller

1. Visio (See) Look at the image. What do you see? What is happening?

2. Meditatio (Meditate) How does it make you feel?

3. Lectio (Read, Context) Read the Gospel passage above. How does the painting correspond with the Gospel? Read Mike Landry’s article on this lighthouse.

4. Oratio (Pray) Silently sit with this image opening yourself up to the flow of the Holy Spirit.

5. Contemplatio (Ponder) How is God speaking to you in this Visio Divina? Share your thoughts by writing them or telling them.

6. Operatio (Act) Because of this Visio Divina, what acts or changes in thinking do you want to happen in your life?

See also the Lectio Divina on this Gospel by the Carmelites. and the American Bible Society.

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