I am Catholic. I attend a Catholic Mass every weekend of each calendar year. The Gospel reading that was read today at each Mass in every Catholic Church throughout the world was Matthew 5:13-16. There are two important phrases that Jesus communicated to his disciples in this Scripture passage. First, “You are the salt of the earth.” What does this mean? Well, in Jesus’s time, salt was a preservative. It helped to keep certain foods fresh. It also added flavor to some foods they ate. Jesus is telling His disciples that they need to go out to others and tell them about His teachings. By doing so they are planting seeds of Jesus’s messages with the hope that those who hear them can learn and share these teachings with others. In a sense, those who do this are preserving Jesus’s teachings for generation after generation. Jesus instructs his disciples to influence the world in a positive way by spreading His Good News. If the disciples did not teach others about Jesus, Jesus’s messages would be as useless as flavorless salt.
Jesus also said, “You are the light of the world.” What does this mean? Well, in Jesus’s time, light served the purpose of providing light in places where it was dark. It serves the same purpose today. This is exactly what Jesus wants His disciples to do. He wants them to be the light of spreading His teachings to others. The disciples are to be a light in the darkness that may exist in other people’s lives. We know that there are many dark places that people experience in life – anxiety, loneliness, depression, hate, grief, declining physical health, unhealthy behavior, anger, isolation, stress, sorrow, pain, and relationships. When we encounter others (family, friends, people we just met), we need to take the responsibility of being the light that shines in the darkness of their lives, not only to help them with what they may be encountering in life but also to help them with knowing that Jesus Christ is always a light in any darkness that they may be experiencing and trying to deal with in their lives.
Jesus distinctly said, “You are the salt of the Earth” and “You are the light of the world.” How can you be the salt of the Earth and the light of the world in other people’s lives today, tomorrow, and every day of your life?