Salt of the Earth, Light of the World

February 5, 2017

When you refer to someone as the salt of the earth, and the light of the world, you are saying that they have the right qualities for the foundation of life personally, and for the good of all society. You have what it takes to preserve a good and orderly society from one generation to the next.

It is interesting that Jesus tells his disciples, and tells us, that they are the salt of the earth; the preservation of all that is basic and necessary for human life and good social order.  It is as if Jesus is telling them that if they fail, then everything falls apart; that they are the people everyone is counting on; and so Jesus is talking to us.  We must ask ourselves: do we have the courage to be the salt of the earth? Can we be the light of the world?

 

The first reading we get a glimpse of what these teachings are.

 

First, option for the poor; share your bread with the hungry; clothe the naked as you see them- this means right away without hesitation; the poor includes the unborn and those who cannot speak for themselves; and also the elderly or the infirm or disabled, we are called to help them.

 

I went to pro-life march two weeks ago. What an amazing peaceful and grace- filled march; singing and reciting the rosary along the way. I could see what joy the light of Christ brings.

 

Second, taking out of our lives oppression- we learn today of world oppression; but, we hear the word bullying; are we overbearing? Do we respect people who disagree with us? I heard an interview with Bishop Robert Barron, a Bishop of Los Angeles. He quoted Stanley Hauerwas who said, “we have forgotten how to have a good argument.” Just because someone disagrees with us does not mean that we should be angry. People can have differences of opinion, and we can still get along with them.

 

Third, False accusation- stretching the truth; and remove malicious speech are we angry with or about someone, do we spread hate? What do we say on Facebook or twitter or social media? We should be aware of our speech patterns; are we respectful of other’s opinions? Our life should have a certain harmony to it; graciousness, showing courtesy to one another; protecting another’s reputation.  In the Old Testament, there was a right to a good reputation; even if someone had done something wrong, there was no need to further damage a person's reputation. We have to be careful of what we say about others.

 

Light of the world means that, as part of our being, we naturally reflect who we are, and what we stand for. We give the world insight into why we live, and where we are going. We hold that Christ is the way the truth and the life for all of us, for all society, until the end of time. Every other religion may fall away but the Church will remain. When we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim your death, O lord, until you come again.” This is a comforting truth, because it means that following Christ is a good decision.

 

A lot of time we are afraid or worried of criticism, and so we put our light under a bushel basket.  People we know outside of church should know we are devout Catholics; that we love Jesus; and that we accept Jesus as the light of the world; teachings about the Eucharist are sometimes hard for others to accept. When we are in conversations with people outside the church, we can sometimes slip our light under a bushel basket; sometimes we don’t know what to say; even St. Paul admitted in the second reading that he was in fear; sometimes we may think that since we are not perfect, we cannot be a true light but God knows our imperfections and

 

This is a good time to learn more about our faith. Do we know what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus? Maybe not, so we ask questions.

 

Do we know that what we hold and believe is the truth, or is it just another opinion;

How do we answer questions about our faith?

 

Today, Jesus has given a great compliment calling us the salt of the earth- we are the ones who will provide the foundation for society; we are the ones who will provide light to the world- Not because of our own merits or accomplishments, but because Jesus, who loves us and who died for us, has given us the grace, the ability, to live great lives according to His will.

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