Our Christian Vocation
Salt of the Earth and Light of the World
Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? . . . You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden . . . let your light shine before human beings, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5: 13a; 14; 16).
In the ancient world, salt was one of the most important necessities of life. It was used for the preservation and seasoning of food. So too was light for obvious reasons. Both are still vitally important today.
What was Jesus trying to say when he used these two images? He was telling them they have a crucial role to play in the world through their good deeds.
When religious practice is disconnected from daily life, our faith is not genuine. To use Jesus’ analogy, it is like salt that has lost its flavour or a lamp that does not give light.
Today there are a myriad of forces trying to convince us to suppress our faith and that faith is only a private affair. Sadly, this attitude is now pervasive even among Christians due to political correctness and secularism. However, such an attitude is contrary to our Christian vocation.
Jesus makes it clear that our faith is very much a public affair and affects every aspect of our lives. Our faith must be expressed by concrete actions.
It is not sufficient to say that we have faith; we have to show others that we have faith. Like the old saying goes: actions speak louder than words.
When religious practice leads to actions, our faith has the potential to touch the lives of people. When we provide food and clothing to those less fortunate, speak up for those who don’t have a voice, console those who mourn, visit someone who is ill, and so on, we show ourselves to be salt of the earth and light of the world.
By our baptism, we are called to embrace the Christian way of life. Jesus wants us to strive to become the best version of what we are: followers of Christ and children of God.
Since we are like salt, then don’t let the salt of your faith lose its flavour. You can even add other spices as well. The more we put our faith into action, the saltier and spicier our faith becomes.
In addition, the light of our faith will become brighter. In sum, give taste and give light so that the Christian way of life may be appealing and relevant for people today.
This task is not one for the individual Christian only but for the Church as a whole. It is more effective to witness to Christ as a member of a supportive community. Amen!
Father Lee Laihey