CALLED TO BE SALT AND LIGHT

In Mathew’s gospel (Ch. 5) Jesus teaches us in the Sermon on the Mount who is blessed in the Kingdom of God. He then tells us about the responsibility of those who are blessed:

You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost 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 hill 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 (Mt. 5:13-16).

When Jesus called his disciples to be the salt of the earth, He was showing them how valuable they were. Salt was highly valued in the ancient world and was even considered divine by the Greeks. Salt performs two important functions yet today: it is the most common of all preservatives; it keeps things from spoiling, and it gives taste and flavor to food. Food without salt is bland.

The Christian is to be the salt of society, flavoring the quality of life for everyone by upholding good values, working for reconciliation and peace, bringing hope where there is none, spreading joy, and praying for the nation so it thrives.   We are to preserve cultural values and moral principles and flavor common life with harmony, joy, friendship and love.

We are also called to be the light of the world. That means we are called to be a light for those outside of our comfortable Catholic and Christian communities. One of the more serious problems in the world today is religious communalism, that is, people’s preoccupation with the interests of their own religious or ethnic groups. Shining a light to others means bearing fruit in our life, bringing life and light to others. It is about our deeds in society.

While this call to be salt and light can be intimidating and easy enough to set aside, we must remember that God does the heavy work; we are to show up and seek his will in our daily lives. We must also remember that alone the work of the Christian is overwhelming, but throw all of our good deeds and actions together in a salt shaker or a beam of light, and a cascade begins to flow over the earth.

Together we make a difference

According to a reflection written by prolife speaker and author, Dr. James I. Lamb, for centuries physicists debated the nature of light. Two theories surfaced. The “corpuscular theory” maintained that light consisted of particles emitted from a light source. This explained some properties of light, but not all. The “wave theory” stated that light emitted from its source as waves. Again, this explained some properties of light but not all. So, the debate continued. Did light consist of particles or waves?

In the early 20th century, Albert Einstein answered the question – “Yes!” He showed that light consists of “particles,” little bundles of energy called “photons.” However, when all these photons zip along together, they behave as a wave.

Sometimes Christians can feel like a photon, a little particle of light, and we wonder if we can possibly make a difference in the world of darkness and death. The Bible, however, never talks about a “child of light” only “children of light.” When Jesus said in Mathew 5:14, “You are the light of the world,” “You” is plural. When you and I shine in the darkness, others shine with us. We are Christian “photons” that form a wave of light that can and does make a difference in the darkness. We are called to be more than “glow in the dark” children of light. We are to “walk as children of light” and take no part in the “unfruitful works of darkness.” But it does not stop with passive restraint. We “photons” are called to action, to “expose” the works of darkness.

Pope Francis said “The Charismatic Renewal is a great force meant to serve the preaching of the Gospel in the joy of the Holy Spirit.”

Please plan to attend our Winter Teaching Conference and get concrete practical teaching and inspiration on how to be that salt and light.

(Note: Part of this article was paraphrased from an article by T.V. Philip posted on Religion-Online.org)

 

 

 

 

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