Matthew 5: 13-16
1 Kgs 17: 7-16 / Ps 4: 2-5, 7b-8
You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.
God has chosen you from the fold
To bear His light, and salt the earth;
By witnessing for Christ be bold
To share your life for what it’s worth.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5: 13-16)
Yesterday we learned the important lessons of repentance and conversion in the Beatitudes. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is now asking us if we are ready to influence the world around us with the Gospel values we have learned from Him. “Are we ‘worth our salt’ as Christians?” Have we been bringing the light of His Good News into the shadowy or mediocre lives of others? Or have we been taking His special gifts of conversion and faith for granted?
In one of the breakfast meetings of our brotherhood, a sister member (now for ten years), told me she could never imagine herself sharing her life testimony in front of a large audience. “Why?” I asked her jokingly, “Is it too bland that you don’t want to share it, or so ‘dark’ that you’re afraid it will not enlighten those who hear it?” I reminded her that God is the Author of Life, and every life that He created has a beautiful plot that must be revealed. Every renewed Christian has a responsibility to give witness to the goodness and creativity of God in his or her life. It is the least we can do (aside from charitable works) to show our great appreciation to God for His gift of life. St. Peter reminds us: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wondrous deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were ‘no people’ but now you are God’s people; once you had not received God’s mercy but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
We are the salt of the earth. As His followers, Jesus wants us to help our Church preserve the culture and traditions that He and His martyrs and saints have handed down to us through the ages. Our Lord also expects us to make our witnessing of the Gospel a tasteful experience to those we are inviting to His banquet. In fact, if we must be like salt, we must be able to make others thirst for God’s nourishing Word.
If salt is an invisible substance that influences our taste for food, light, on the other hand, is seen all around. We are the light of the world if we can reflect in our life the ideals of Jesus Christ, Who said: ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’ (John 8:12) Ever since God “lighted my life” with His sacred Word, it has become a lifelong passion for me to share His message of love through these Gospel reflections that I send every day (except Sunday) in the internet. It is truly a special privilege from God to be able to reflect the light of Christ through the inspired messages of His Holy Spirit. Jesus calls us to counter the forces of darkness by being His light to make others see the follies of this world, and draw them back to His everlasting Light. Brothers and sisters, don’t be afraid, and don’t be ashamed to light up for Christ.
Lord God, I cannot thank You enough for my life, which Your Word has saved from being tasteless and enlightened by Your love. May it be pleasing to You, Lord, to use it as You will, to likewise flavor or brighten other people’s lives. Amen.
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