Categories: Pastor's Desk

“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world.” These images of salt and light, which we hear of in today’s Gospel, immediately follow the Beatitudes, which we heard last weekend. This is no accident! By speaking of our call to be salt and light, Jesus reminds us of the importance of our mission as Disciples of Christ.

It is easy for us as people of faith to focus inward on ourselves. “What do I need to do to grow closer to God?” “How am I being called to change my life?” When we look at our faith in this way, our temptation is to lose sight of the bigger picture, and to forget our call to live our faith in the midst of the world by becoming witnesses of the Gospel. This is why Jesus instructs us to be salt and light.

In Jesus’ day, salt was used both to flavour food and as a preservative. When Jesus instructs us to be salt of the earth, he is reminding us that our holiness and joy in the spirit should bring a certain flavour to our daily lives, which makes our lives more meaningful. It is this joy and holiness that we are called to share with others as we live our lives of faith.

The same is true when we speak of being the light of the world. However, a word of caution is important here: it is not our light alone that shines forth. Being the light of the world is not an occasion for pride, or for allowing swelling egos to get the best of us. It is an invitation to remember that we are called to reflect the true light of Christ into the world through our actions. To do this requires going out into the world, meeting people where they are, and “taking on the smell of the sheep” as Pope Francis has instructed us.

Jesus’ words to us make it clear that a faith that exists only within the four walls of the Church is dead. For our faith to be truly alive, we need to allow the Light of Christ to permeate every aspect of our lives, so that we can share that light with others. In doing so, we will truly become salt of the earth and light of the world. Throughout this week, I invite you to spend some time reflecting on the ways that God is calling you to live your faith more actively, and to share his light with all those you meet.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Steven Huber, CSB