“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Both salt and light are useful in drawing our attention elsewhere. Salt helps draw out the natural flavor of food; light helps us see something else. Too much salt, the food isn’t good anymore. Too much light, we have to shade our eyes. When Jesus tells us that we are salt and light, he reminds us of our power to draw out God’s presence in the world.
In addition, in our modern world where salt and light are so abundant and easy to get, we can forget how valuable they are and how difficult they were to come by in the ancient world. In fact, the etymology of our word “salary” comes from the word for salt. When Jesus tells us that we are salt and light to him, he says that we are useful and important in drawing out God’s presence, but also that we have immense value to him.
—Matthew Stewart, SJ, is a transitional deacon of the Central and Southern Province preparing for priestly ordination in August.
Lord God, help us to be salt and light in our world that is so in need of your presence. May our words and actions point people to you, and make you present in the daily reality of those around us. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!