Salt and Light
Anne notes that Jesus preferred using simple every day imagery to make his point as demonstrated in today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:13-16). Jesus articulates very clearly what is expected of his followers, using the powerful images of salt and light.
We are to be the salt of the earth. We are to be the light of the world.
Salt was highly valued in the ancient world. It was used as a seasoning, a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings and as a unit of exchange in trade and currency.
Just as salt enhances the flavor of food and serves as a preservative, to be salt of the earth means to be useful, helpful and to make a difference. We are to be a presence that brings out the best in our society.
As for light, it too is vital for life. Light dispels darkness, warming all it reaches, illuminating all in its path. Jesus’ followers would have appreciated how a single lamp would illuminate their one room home at night time. We know that the very existence of life on earth depends on the light from the sun.
To be the light of the world means that we are to bring light, to bring warmth, to illuminate and enlighten all the nurtures life in our world. It means that we will dispel darkness caused by ignorance, selfishness or prejudice. We will be a light for others on life’s journey.
Jesus’ teaching, the Christian message, is so very simple and yet so profoundly challenging. We are to have a life giving effect on others in the world around us. This challenges us to reflect on what we do and what we might do better. Anne asks ‘How are we going to approach this challenge?’
With this in mind, Anne invites us to turn to God for help with this:
Father, we pray that we may be good listeners to what your Son is trying to tell us in his Gospels. May we take seriously his summons, which he has giving to us to be a light in our world, where there is often much darkness and sin. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord, Amen.
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