Are you salt and light?

11 February 2020


Matthew 5:13-20

13 ‘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 underfoot.

14 ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.



Because of sin, all life has become corrupt, all life is dying. All life is subject to decay: it is no longer what it was created to be in the Garden of Eden. It has lost its flavor.

Jesus says that you and I are the salt of the earth. What does salt do? Salt brings out the best of flavor. It extends life and resists corruption. Before refrigeration was invented, in lands and seasons where ice was not practical, salt was used to preserve food, especially meat.


But what if salt loses its saltiness; what if it loses its ability to enhance and preserve? It then has the same effect as dust, and it no longer has any use and may as well be tossed on the ground. What does that say about us? When we leave Mass and walk out that door into the world, if you and I look just like the world, and taste just like the world, and act just like the world … we are no longer salty; we are no longer good for anything except being the world.

Jesus says that you and I are the light of the world. We are the light because we carry the Light of Christ within us. What does light do? Light makes vision possible, and brings warmth as it comes in contact with people.


But what if light is enclosed in a box so that none of it can escape? It then has no effect, and may as well go out. What does that say about us? If our light is sealed in a box – within the four walls of the church – then it is worthless: only the inside of the box receives the light! We can pray, we can fast, we can come to Mass, we can sing, we can dance, we can speak in tongues, we can serve, we can tithe … but if during the other 142 hours of the week we don’t express that same Spirit and devotion to Christ by showing the love of Christ, then Sunday Mass is just a play and we’re all actors and actresses. We might win an Oscar award, but we’ll never be part of God’s work in the world. We may love God, but we aren’t loving our neighbors.


Jesus is the Light of the world, and you and I are the beams of His light. We must shine clearly, and we must touch the people of the world if we are to have any positive effect on them. We can’t bring the lost into the Kingdom of God if we don’t touch the world around us. How can Christ grow the church if we are unwilling to walk in the fields ripe for harvest and get our hands dirty through ministry?


Let the Light of Christ in you shine before others. Don’t keep it inside the Sunday morning box, lighting only the walls of the church. Let it out! Let it shine! Take it to the streets. Yes, give alms for the poor in the offering plate, but also do your good deeds directly to the least and the lost … and let them know that you are giving in the Name of Jesus your Savior! Not for your glory, but for His!


Get out of the box! Let your love for Jesus escape the confines of Sunday Mass and invade the rest of your life, and He will cause you to bear fruit.


Word of God: speak! Non nobis Domine+ by Fr. Dana Jackson

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