Light of the World, Salt of the Earth: A mixture of thoughts by me, Fr. Mark, and Fr. George
You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:13-16
Our priests gave an excellent homilies this Sunday (one I actually heard, the other my husband retold to me) from which I was able to draw from. They were talking about what exactly salt does and what it meant to the early Church. Salt was used to purify things, preserve food, and was used to flavor food. How does this apply to us as Christians? Do we purify our lives, our days, and those around us? Do we keep others from rotting? How well do we sustain, and how well to we sustain others? Do we add meaning and purpose as Christians to this world? Do we make our lives flavorful with love, joy, peace, hope, or faith?
Salt was also used as an offering to God. In the Old Testament, the meat offerings to God were commanded to be seasoned with salt. Are we making ourselves part of an overall offering to God?
When a meal is under-seasoned or over-seasoned, the whole meal tastes poorly, and then the meal becomes all about the salt (the abundance or lack of it). However, when the salt is just right, no one even notices the salt. Instead the meal is about the food and the overall flavor. Are we this way in our lives? Do we practice this kind of humility? Or is everything about us?
To be a light of the world. What does light do? It illuminates, let's us see, makes things clear, provides warmth, and dispells fear. Do we do this in our world? In our families? Amongst our friends?
Being the salt of the earth and the light of the world aren't choices. Jesus did not say "you CAN BE the salt of the earth". He said "You ARE the salt of the earth....You ARE the light of the world." It is a part of our vocations, our beings as Christians. There is no decision that needs to be made, other than if we will be salt that retains its flavor, or if we will be the salt that loses its flavor and is therefore thrown out.
Blessings to Fr. Mark and Fr. George.